Did We Evolve From Goddamn Rat-Like Things?

February 8, 2013 | Samer Kalaf

After disparaging rats yesterday, it seems that vitriol was unwise. Today, science just said that humans share some anatomical qualities to a creature that was the size of a rat. We might as well just call ourselves rat people now.

After six years of sifting through mammalian family trees, scientists believe that a common ancestor among around 5,400 species — including elephants, whales and humans (hey, that’s us!) — is a goddamn rat-like thing called the Protungulatum donnae.

OK, what exactly do we have in common with these rat-like creatures?

Among characteristics associated with full-term live births, the Protungulatum species was found to have a two-horned uterus and a placenta in which the maternal blood came in close contact with the membranes surrounding the fetus, as in humans.