Golden vizcacha rat

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Golden vizcacha rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Superfamily: Octodontoidea
Family: Octodontidae
Tribe: Octodontini
Genus: Pipanacoctomys
Mares, Braun, Barquez, and Díaz, 2000
Species: P. aureus
Binomial name
Pipanacoctomys aureus
Mares, Braun, Barquez, and Díaz, 2000

The golden vizcacha rat (Pipanacoctomys aureus) is the single species of the genus Pipanacoctomys of the rodent family Octodontidae.[2] This animal is tetraploid and has 4x = 2n = 92 chromosomes.[3] This species and its sister-species Tympanoctomys barrerae (4x = 102) appear to have arisen from the diploid mountain vizcacha rat, Octomys mimax[3] (2x = 2n = 56) as a result of doubling and then loss of some chromosomes.

The species is known from Catamarca Province of northwestern Argentina, where specimens are known only from the Salar de Pipanaco, a salt flat. It feeds on halophyte plants.[4] The genus is named after the locale, with “octo” being a reference to the figure-eight ridge on its cheek tooth.

It is threatened by conversion of its very restricted habitat to agricultural use.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lessa, E., Ojeda, R. & Bidau, C. (2008). Pipanacoctomys aureus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  2. ^ Woods, C.A.; Kilpatrick, C.W. (2005). "Infraorder Hystricognathi". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1572–1573. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ a b Gallardo, M. H. et al. (2004). Whole-genome duplications in South American desert rodents (Octodontidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 82, 443-451.
  4. ^ Mares, Michael A. (1 November 2003), "Desert dreams: seeking the secret mammals of the salt pans - Naturalist at Large", Natural History