New Ireland forest rat

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New Ireland forest rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Murinae
Genus: Rattus
Species: R. sanila
Binomial name
Rattus sanila
Flannery & White, 1991

The New Ireland forest rat (Rattus sanila) is a large rodent in the family Muridae. It is endemic to New Ireland, in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea.


Ratus sanila is known only by the discovery of some 7 subfossil fragments of jaw dated to over 3000 years old. The molars of this particular species are broad and have a very complex structure of the cusp. The diastema is also longer than in other species of the genus Rattus suggesting a separate species which may be a relict of an archaic or ancestral dispersal of Rattus stock to New Guinea and Australia. This species probably still survives in some primary forest.[1]


  1. ^ Wilson, edited by Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M. (2005). Mammal species of the world : a taxonomic and geographic reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4. 

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