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The mouse who never was

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The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse, once seen as a costly impediment to development, now turns out never to have existed.

The furry nine-inch-long creature (above), which can launch itself a foot and a half into the air and switch direction in mid-flight – sounds like a rodent version of Randy Moss – is genetically identical to the Bear Lodge meadow jumping moss.

DNA analysis seemed to prove the case but even so, the conclusion was only narrowly approved (8-6) in a vote by 14 peer reviewers from the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, the Energy Department, the state of Wyoming, and the Denver museum.

Based on the study, the Preble’s mouse will be removed from the government’s endangered species list in about a year.

This will free up 31,000 acres along streams in Colorado and Wyoming that up to now have been designated as a critical mouse habitat and thus off-limits to development.

Speaking of things that never were, the 1956 film “The Man Who Never Was,” about the legendary British World War II Operation Mincemeat, is superb.

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