Chalchalero vizcacha rat

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Chalchalero vizcacha rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Octodontidae
Genus: Salinoctomys
Mares, Braun, Barquez & Diaz, 2000
Species: S. loschalchalerosorum
Binomial name
Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum
Mares, Braun, Barquez & Diaz, 2000

The Chalchalero vizcacha rat (Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum) is a species of caviomorph rodent in the family Octodontidae.[2] It is monotypic within the genus Salinoctomys. The species is endemic to a small area of northwestern Argentina, where it lives in shrublands bordering the salt flats of the Salinas Grandes.[1] Its diet consists of halophyte plants.[1] It is named after an Argentine musical group, Los Chalchaleros, whose songs were popular with its discoverers.[3]

Description[edit]

The Chalchalero vizcacha rat is a medium-sized species of rat. Its dorsal fur is dark brownish black while its underparts are white. The hairs on its back are about 2 centimetres (0.8 in) long and have a grey base, a brown band and a black tip, and the guard hairs are a uniform darkish brown. This vizcacha rat reaches a head-and-body length of 14 to 16 centimetres (5.5 to 6.3 in) with a tail length of 11 to 12 centimetres (4.3 to 4.7 in). The tail is relatively long, clad with hair along its entire length and ends with a black tassel. The soles of the feet have six pads, and there is a fringe of hairs around the feet.[4]

Status[edit]

The Chalchalero vizcacha rat is only found within an area totalling less than 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) and it actually occupies only about one tenth of that area. It lives among the salt-loving plants that grow between the salt pans and the dense thorn scrub typical of the surrounding area. Its population is decreasing and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as "critically endangered".[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ojeda, R. & Bidau, C. (2013). "Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  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. p. 1573. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Mares, Michael A. (1 November 2003). "Desert dreams: seeking the secret mammals of the salt pans - Naturalist at Large" (PDF). Natural History: 29–34. 
  4. ^ Mares, M. A.; Braun, J. K.; Barquez, R. M.; Diaz, M. M. (2000). "Two new genera and species of halophytic desert mammals from isolated salt flats in Argentina" (PDF). Occ. Pap. Mus. Tex. Tech. Univ. (Museum of Texas Tech University) 203 (1): 1–27. Retrieved 2012-01-11.