Scientists In Search Of Most Mysterious Squirrel Zenkerella

Posted: Aug 17 2016, 4:56am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Scientists in Search of Most Mysterious Squirrel Zenkerella
The second male specimen of Zenkerella insignis was found near the village of Ureca on Bioko, an island off the west coast of Africa. Credit: Steven Heritage
  • Scientists on the Lookout for Zenkerella

Scientists are on the lookout for an ancient elusive species of squirrel-like mammal that has been labeled Zenkerella.

Scientists are in search of a mysterious and age-old species of squirrel named Zenkeralla insignis. While it has furry skin and paws just like any ordinary squirrel, its tail has scales on its bottom side.

It’s been a hundred years since the experts have been playing a game of Pokemon Go with this mysterious creature. Up until now these scientists had not been successful in their mission of spotting far less catching one.

Dr. Eric Seiffert is the main man behind this whole endeavor to catch a squirrel. He wrote about this mammal in a journal. He has labeled many dead animals and normally doesn’t deal with modern creatures that are still alive.

Yet even he couldn’t resist the temptation to go on what seemed in the beginning like a wild goose chase for this uncanny squirrel which seems to escape everyone’s grasp.

The squirrel is like a Big Foot among the rodent family, according to CNN. Dr. Seiffert’s curiosity was piqued when he went on an excavation in Northern Egypt. He found fossils of a rodent that was extant 37 million years ago.

It was its limbs which attracted Seiffert’s attention to the utmost degree. The species of squirrel had never been seen by anyone. Furthermore, there were a total of 11 samples of Zenkerella in museums around the world.

The interesting thing was that none of the samples were in a holistic state. In fact, this squirrel named Zenkerella was the least studied rodent on earth. Even the DNA of this species had not been analyzed.

Seiffert found something which might prove helpful in the nick of time. A colleague was shifting nearer to Zenkerella territory. This colleague of his asked the village elders of the place regarding this ancient squirrel.

They claimed that they had been catching these squirrels in recent times in traps. Yet they had thrown away the squirrels since they did not seem very palatable.

The colleague of Dr. Seiffert asked the villagers to preserve the bodies of any new Zenkerellas they caught. The plan worked. New Zenkerella were caught by the villagers and the reports reached Dr. Seiffert’s colleague.

When the creatures were finally analyzed beneath the microscope, it was found that they were virtual living fossils. They had not changed substantially since the past 31 million years or so.

Up until now, only a few living fossil species have been found. The next hope of Dr. Seiffert and his colleague is to catch a Zenkerella alive. The ones caught up until now have all been dead samples.

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