[Daily article] June 13: Macrotarsomys petteri

Macrotarsomys petteri, Petter’s big-footed mouse, is a Malagasy rodent.
It is the largest in its genus, with a head and body length of 150 mm
(5.9 in) and body mass of 105 g (3.7 oz). The upperparts are brown,
darkest in the middle of the back, and the underparts are white to
yellowish. The animal has long whiskers, short forelimbs, and long
hindfeet. The tail ends in a prominent tuft of long, light hairs. The
skull is robust and the molars are low-crowned and cuspidate. The
species most resembles, and may be most closely related to, the greater
big-footed mouse. The specific name, petteri, honors French zoologist
François Petter for his contributions to the study of Malagasy rodents.
M. petteri is now found only in southwestern Madagascar’s Mikea Forest,
which is threatened by human development. Subfossil records indicate
that it used to be more widely distributed in southern Madagascar;
climatic changes and competition with introduced species may have led to
the shift in its distribution.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


The Edict of Milan, an agreement between Constantine the Great
and Licinius to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire,
was posted in Nicomedia.


An Arctic Ocean ice pack crushed the USS Jeannette during its
expedition to the North Pole.


Second World War: During the Battle of Villers-Bocage, German
tank commander Michael Wittmann personally destroyed dozens of Allied
vehicles in less than 15 minutes.


English teenager Marcus Sarjeant fired six blank shots at Queen
Elizabeth II as she rode down The Mall to the Trooping the Colour


Former Iraqi government official Haitham al-Badri orchestrated
a second bombing of the al-Askari Mosque, one of the holiest sites in
Shia Islam.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (transitive) To jump over some obstacle, as in the game of leapfrog.
2. (transitive) To overtake.
3. (intransitive) To progress.
4. (transitive, chiefly Britain, law) Of a case: to appeal or allow to be
appealed directly to a supreme court, bypassing an intermediate
appellate court.
5. (transitive, military) To advance by engaging the enemy with one unit
while another moves further forward.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  A lofty morality should be tolerant, for none declare its laws but
those worn out with its warfare, and they must pity sinners.  
–The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats

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