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    • The taxonomy of biological classification is in a constant state of flux. Animals which were classified in one family or genus 100 years ago are reclassified by later biologists. If I understand correctly, the term Mus Setifer was used in the first half of the nineteenth century to describe a rat whose non-scientific name at that time was the Bristle bearing rat.

      As far as I know the term Mus Setifer is not currently used and Setifer is used as a Genus name for a completely different animal. However, it would be better to ask someone who actually knows something about the subject of taxonomy. I am not a taxonomist nor a biologist.

    • Cats are older than homo erectus, no? Their species ought to be.

      I could never quite understand those who claim they're "not a cat person" but they are a "dog person". I wish someone could explain this, not in a pet kind of way. To me they're all very interesting animals, very different.

      Back to your OP, I admire British people for their uncanny ability to manufacture original visions of life out of seemingly mundane facts.

    • @Shewmaker, thanks for that research! The illustration is from a book published in 1824, Zoological researches in Java.

      Here is an excerpt from the author's description of Mus Setifer:

      "Several points of agreement between the Mus setifer and the Mus decumanus, or Brown Rat, have already been enumerated: in my comparisons with other species of this genus, I have had the assistance only of figures and descriptions. Besides the peculiar rough and bristly character of its hair, our animal differs from the Brown Rat in the extraordinary size of its ears, in the strength of its front teeth, in the comparative nakedness of the tail, and in several minuter particulars in its form and proportions, which, although not easily expressed by words, become obvious by comparison."