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Surprising Science

“Mouse Goat”

According to a new study, a now-extinct breed of miniature goats had bones that resemble a crocodile’s.

A now-extinct breed of miniature goats had bones that resemble a crocodile’s, according to a new study. The Myotragus, otherwise known as the “mouse goat”, which stood at about 19 inches tall, reportedly developed characteristics of cold-blooded reptiles in order to survive life on the island of Majorca where food was scarce. It left behind other capabilities associated with mammals including fast movement, high growth rate and metabolism, alert senses and large brains. “(Myotragus) not only decreased aerobic capacities and behavioral traits, but also flexibly synchronized growth rates and metabolic needs to the prevailing resource conditions as do ectothermic reptiles,” researchers Meike Kohler and Salvador Moya-Sola wrote in a study published in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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