Friday, April 5, 2013

Flores Giant Rat

Papagomys armandvillei
Living isolated on an island can do funny things to a species. Some animals get smaller, to cope with the lack of resources. However... some actually get much larger (especially creatures that are normally small) because they don't have larger predators to contend with and can thus move into a slightly different ecological niche.

The Flores Giant Rat is and example of island gigantism. Th
ese monstrous rodents can grow 18in long, which is double the maximum size of a Brown Rat!

These Rats, like many of their kind, are very adaptable and can be found living in all types of forests, and at a variety of elevations within the Indoenesian island of Flores. They also have an adaptable diet-- they feed on fruits, leaves, insects, and a wide range of other plants and invertebrates.

Interestingly, for a Rat so large they aren't seen very often by scientists. Actually, most of what we know is from collected skeletal remains. The species is currently listed as Near Threatened, as they are hunted for food by the local human populations and by introduced dogs and cats.

IUCN Status : Near Threatened
Location : Flores, Indonesia
Size : Body length up to 18in (45cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family : Muridae -- Genus : Papagomys -- Species : P. armandvillei
Image : Xenohistorian

1 comment:

  1. I hope they don't go extinct! :(



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