The last of these rats was seen in 1903. They, and the Maclear's rat were both endemic to Christmas Island. Sailors accidentally introduced the black rat to the island. Within 4 years, both of the native rats would go extinct. It is thought that the black rat brought disease, possibly the ratty version of sleeping sickness. It is caused by the Trypanosoma lewisi protozoa. The bulldog rat was larger than the black rat. Their head and body length got up to maybe 10 inches with an additional 6-7 inches of tail. By comparison, a black rat has a max head and body length of a little over 7 inches with a tail over 8 1/2 inches long. The description of them is interesting, though there are no pictures and few drawings of them I can find. What you might notice, the Bulldog Rat had a shorter tail than other rats. Their tail was extra thick though. They had an extra small, delicate head but big heavy hands and feet with thick sturdy claws especially on their hands. The only really dainty thing about them is their head, they even were known to have an over 3/4 of an inch of subcutaneous fat, and it is uncertain why. Most rats have lighter fur on their stomach than they do on their back, but the Bulldog Rat was fairly uniformly dark brown. They were not known to be much interested in climbing, but could dig.
I honestly do not know why they were named the Bulldog Rat. If I was to design a rat named bulldog, it would have an extra large squishy face. Being a bit chunky and having extra large feet, potentially even being a bit clumsy, those would work with the name though. Maybe that is why they were named that. I don't do yoga, but I decided to create a ratty version of the downward dog pose for this. I love dogs, and am always good at guessing what a dog is when they are an interesting mix. I find it funny how Corgi and Basset mix dogs so often seem as if they are the other breed, just stretched out a bit longer and with half the leg height. There used to be a Golden Retriever/Basset mix in our neighbourhood. It almost looked like a Golden walking on its knees. Our Beagle/Corgi mix is Corgi height and Corgi length, but with a Beagle head. I met a Corgi/Border Collie mix once too. It was so obvious what it was because it looked like a Border Collie that had miniature legs and extra space in the back. My mom had 2 Dachshunds and 2 Dachshund mixes, and the mixes didn't have the long low aspect of a Dachshund. I think the genetics of extra long dogs and stubby legs would be interesting to study. I would actually love to take some classes on genetics and learn more than the typical dominant vs recessive trait stuff you learn when you are young.
I have only 30 more days of this project, or of the first round of it! I kind of want to start a countdown and make it exciting. It might be kind of like my pencil getting shorter though, and mostly only exciting for me. It isn't the exciting like waiting for your birthday either though. It feels weird to be nearing the end of the year. Also, while it is the end of the first part of this project, it absolutely isn't the end of the blog, me painting, or art projects.