Asháninka arboreal chinchilla rat

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Asháninka arboreal chinchilla rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Family: Abrocomidae
Genus: Cuscomys
Species: C. ashaninka
Binomial name
Cuscomys ashaninka
Emmons, 1999

The Asháninka arboreal chinchilla rat[1] (Cuscomys ashaninka) is a large species of chinchilla rats from the Andes of far northern Cusco in Peru. It was first scientifically described in 1999. The animal has grey fur, with a white nose and lips, and a line of white fur running down its head. It is 30 cm (12 in) in length, with a tail of 20 cm (7.9 in).

When described, it was placed in the family Abrocomidae, but was considered different enough from existing species for the creation of the genus Cuscomys. Since then, the Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla rat (Cuscomys oblativus), a species of chinchilla rats originally placed in the genus Abrocoma, has been shown to be a member of Cuscomys. Although it is considered extinct by the IUCN, photos of a rodent showing some similarities to C. ashaninka taken at Machu Picchu in late 2009 may show C. oblativus.[2]

The first specimen of this species was discovered by Dr. Louise Emmons, a researcher of the Smithsonian Institution from Washington, D.C.. She found it by chance while climbing in the Vilcabamba Mountains near Machu Picchu.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zeballos, H. & Vivar, E. (2008). "Cuscomys ashaninka". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Castillo, G. M. (2009). (in Spanish) Detectan en Cusco a roedor declarado extinto. El Comercio (Peru). 12-08-2009.
  • Emmons, L. H. 1999. A new genus and species of abrocomid rodent from Peru (Rodentia: Abrocomidae). American Museum Novitates 3279, 1-14.
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