Mouse Named After ‘Star Trek’ Actor Patrick Stewart Is World’s Oldest

The mouse named after 'Star Trek' actor Patrick Stewart is the oldest in the world

Officials from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance confirmed Pat was healthy. (Document)

Los Angeles:

A rat named after “Star Trek” actor Patrick Stewart is officially the world’s oldest captive animal, a US zoo has announced.

The Pacific kangaroo Pat – the smallest rat in North America – won the title when it was 9 years and 209 days old on Wednesday.

Officials from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance confirmed Pat remained healthy on Thursday.

This tiny creature – whose lifespan has been recognized by the Guinness World Records – weighs less than six grams (one-fifth of an ounce).

And unlike his name, who as Captain Jean-Luc Picard commands the Starship Enterprise, the Pat the Pacific pocket mouse is covered in fur.

This species is so named because of the pouches on its cheeks, which are used to carry food and nesting material.

The animals are found in coastal scrublands, sand dunes and riverbanks near the Pacific Ocean.

Human encroachment left the species struggling and it was thought to be extinct until a small population was discovered in 1994.

Experts at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, whose breeding program has helped bring Pacific kangaroos back to the brink, say these tiny animals are vital to the ecosystem. because they distribute seeds and encourage plant growth through their digging.

Debra Shier of the wildlife union said: “This recognition is also a symbol of appreciation for species that humans do not know much about because they are not large charismatic animals. but also very important for ecosystem function.”

“These overlooked species can often be found in our backyards — like the Pacific kangaroo.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)

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