[Daily article] May 11: Oryzomys peninsulae

Oryzomys peninsulae, also known as the Lower California rice rat, is a
species of rodent from western Mexico. Restricted to the southern tip of
the Baja California peninsula, it is a member of the genus Oryzomys of
family Cricetidae. Twenty-one specimens of O. peninsulae are known,
caught in 1896 and 1906 at two locations about 13 km (8 mi) apart
along the Río San José, a river in southernmost Baja California Sur.
Río San José no longer exists, having fallen prey to irrigation
projects, and touristic development of its estuary has resulted in
pollution. Biologists working in the area in 1979 and from 1991 to 1993
failed to find O. peninsulae, casting doubt on its continued existence.
Medium in size for its genus, it was first described as a separate
species, but later lumped into other widespread species until it was
reinstated as separate in 2009. It is distinctive in fur color—grayish
brown on the forequarters and reddish brown on the hindquarters—and in
some dimensions of its skull (pictured), with a high braincase, robust
zygomatic arches (cheekbones), and long incisive foramina (perforations
of the palate between the incisors and the molars).

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

330:

The city of Byzantium was consecrated as Nova Roma, which became
known as Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman Empire under
Emperor Constantine the Great (mosaic pictured).

1745:

War of the Austrian Succession: French forces defeated the
Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian “Pragmatic Army” at the Battle of Fontenoy in the
Austrian Netherlands in present-day Belgium.

1889:

An attack upon a U.S. Army paymaster and escort resulted in the
theft of over $28,000 and the award of two Medals of Honor.

1946:

The United Malays National Organisation, today Malaysia’s
largest political party, was founded, originally to oppose the
constitutional framework of the Malayan Union.

2010:

David Cameron took office as the Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed the country’s
first coalition government since the Second World War.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

atheophobia:
Fear or hatred of atheism or atheists.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

   Conquering evil, not the opponent, is the essence of
swordsmanship.  
–Yagyū Munenori

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