Down the rabbit hole


“You’ve got no right to be growing here” said the Dormouse to Alice during her sojourn in Wonderland. “Don’t talk nonsense” Alice replied to the tiny, dozy rodent “You know you’re growing too”. To which the Dormouse retorted “Yes, but I grow at a reasonable rate, and not in that ridiculous fashion”.

That sassy dormouse who felt it was growing, just as it should, may very well have been Leithia melitensis, the Giant Maltese Dormouse who was about twice the size of its modern cousin. There were four prehistoric dormouse (Glirideae) species scattered across Sicily and the Maltese Islands; two of those are the ‘giants’ L. meletensis and the slightly smaller L. cartei. Here on Twilight Beasts we’ve featured truly giant megafauna – the massive and nightmarish short-faced bear, the lumbering Megatherium and the huge cuddly Diprotodonto name but a few. These rodents, however, were…

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