Something to always keep in mind:

Rodents — rats, mice, squirrels, porcupines, gerbils and others — are the largest order of living mammals, constituting 42 percent of the total mammalian diversity worldwide. That's according to data drawn from the research literature in an analysis by Winkler and her paleontology colleagues Christiane Denys, of the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and D. Margaret Avery of the Iziko South African Museum in Cape Town.

Also...

Rodents have been around much longer than humans or human ancestors in Africa, with the earliest from northern Africa dating from about 50 million years ago.
Also, the number of genes that make a magnificent human...
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...is close to the number of genes that make a measly mouse. One other thing. This nocturnal business of rats (many of my bouts with insomnia have been spent watching them running around the alley by my apartment in Pioneer Square), this sad business of appearing at dusk and retreating at dawn? The rats are to humans what mammals in general where to the dinosaurs. An asteroid liberated those mammals from the dinosaurs; what will liberate these night rats from the humans?

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