Australian zoologist Tyrone Lavery from the Queensland Museum discovered studied in the Solomon Islands giant rat, and confirmed that it belongs to a new species. This animal figured in local folklore under the name “Vick”, but until now, experts could not say with certainty whether it is a real creature or just a figment of fiction and legends.
To prove the existence of a new kind of experts managed by analyzing the analysis of the skull, hair and DNA of the remains found by locals individuals. Red rat, Uromys called vika, live in trees and come down rarely, which experts still did not chance to meet them. Feed on animal flesh of coconut and various fruits.
Specimens of a new species weigh from 500 grams to kilograms and reach a very impressive size for a mouse — 46 inches, excluding the tail. Among members of the same family with them can compete except that the southern show rat Phloeomys cuming, the length of which is up to 48 inches. Grey rats of the genus Rattus norvegicus, which is usually meant by the word “rat” if you do not specify their type, reach a length of only 17-25 inches.
Experts are concerned that in the future unusual animal may indeed remain only in the legends, like many other inhabitants of the Solomon Islands, it is threatened by extinction. One of the reasons for this situation, the researchers called deforestation. Scientists urged to take measures aimed at the conservation of local ecosystems. At the same time, the authors find it curious the fact that humanity still really doesn’t know much about our own planet and its inhabitants.
Scientific work on this new kind of rats, experts have published in the scientific Journal Journal of Mammalogy.
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