One of the most iconic fictional squirrels isn’t really a squirrel at all. Scrat, the acorn loving critter from Ice Age, is actually a completely fictional species. His design, adorably goofy though it is, didn’t impress experts. Paleontologist Guillermo Rougier, from the University of Louisville, said, “when Ice Age came out, we thought the squirrel character in it looked ridiculous.”.
Yet in 2002, the same year the movie came out, a team of paleontologists were unearthing some fossils in Argentina. One of their finds was a 60-million-year-old mammal skull—which looked exactly like a squirrel with an elongated snout and saber teeth. While the new find may have looked like Scrat, it likely didn’t share its love of acorns. Scientists think it most likely used its oversize canines to hunt insects, but they can’t be certain. The species, named Cronopio dentiacutus, is dissimilar to anything alive today outside the world of animation.