Science News: Excited scientists announced an extraordinary discovery today: a species of tiny squirrel that lives in the famous bonsai forests of North-West Japan.
The miniature squirrel or ‘Sciurillus Minimus’ has evidently evolved with its environment – somehow remaining out of scientific view until a recent study that was looking at bonsai trees as a possible cure for vertigo.
“After last years successes with broccoli we realised that replicating aerial distances over forests would be easier with bonsai trees,” says Professor Hans Hai.
“Once granted special access by the Japanese government, we were allowed, for the first time in history, to put whole swathes of these vast bonsai forests under surveillance. We then let loose groups of chronic vertigo sufferers so we could measure and record the so-called ‘Gulliver Effect.’”
“It was during this experiment that our cameras picked up these extraordinary creatures.”
The squirrels, which typically measure an inch long, are distant cousins of our own red and grey squirrels. While folklore has always recognised them as ‘mini-rats’ or ‘twig-with-tail’, they were dismissed as legend.
Now, however, they are being actively hunted down, dipped in boiling gold and turned into charming pendants – a welcome boost to the local economy.