Link rat

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Link rat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Superfamily: Muroidea
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Deomyinae
Genus: Deomys
Thomas, 1888
Species: D. ferrugineus
Binomial name
Deomys ferrugineus
Thomas, 1888

The link rat (Deomys ferrugineus) is 12-14.5 cm long with a 15-21 cm long tail. It weighs 40-70 g. It has long legs and a pointed, narrow head, surmounted by enormous ears. It has a very long, bicoloured tail. The back and forehead are rich orange and brown and the underside is white. The rump hairs are stiff. The link rat is nocturnal and crepuscular. It prefers seasonally flooded forest floors between Cameroon and the Victoria Nile. This equatorial species ranges north of the Zaire River. It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda, and Uganda. It has a widespread but scattered distribution and is seldom common. It feeds mainly on insects, crustaceans, slugs and some fallen fruits, notably palm-nut husks.

The link rat has traditionally been placed as a member of the subfamily Dendromurinae along with the African climbing mice, but has been demonstrated to be more closely related to the spiny mice on the basis of molecular data. A new subfamily (Deomyinae) has now been created, which contains Acomys, Deomys, Lophuromys and Uranomys. This group is supported by several recent phylogenetic studies.[1]

References[edit]

  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
  • Schlitter, D. & Kerbis Peterhans, J. 2004. Deomys ferrugineus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
  1. ^ Lecompte et al., 2008, Phylogeny and biogeography of African Murinae based on mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences, with a new tribal classification of the subfamily