Carpentarian rock rat

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Carpentarian rock rat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Zyzomys
Species: Z. palatalis
Binomial name
Zyzomys palatilisr
Kitchener, 1989

The Carpentarian rock rat (Zyzomys palatalis) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found only in Australia.

Description[edit]

It is a small and compact conilurine rodent. Its fur is grey-brown above and pale below. The tail is used to store fat at its base, making it carrot-shaped; the skin of the tail is fragile and easily damaged by handling. The average weight of individuals is about 120 g.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It has a very limited range, being currently known from only five localities within the Wollogorang Station pastoral lease of the Northern Territory, close to the border with Queensland, near the Gulf of Carpentaria. Crucial habitat characteristics are rugged sandstone gorges with a cover of dry monsoon vine-thicket or tropical woodland, and with access to permanent water.

Conservation[edit]

The estimated size of the wild population of this species is less than 2000. The main threat is from hot, late dry-season, fires. It is classified as being Critically Endangered. It is subject to conservation management, including a captive breeding program at the Territory Wildlife Park.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] PDF downloaded 19 November 2007