Summit rat

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Summit rat
Rattus baluensis visiting Nepenthes rajah.png
Summit rat on a pitcher of Nepenthes rajah
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Rattus
Species: R. baluensis
Binomial name
Rattus baluensis
(Thomas, 1894)

The summit rat (Rattus baluensis) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found only on Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia, and has been recorded at altitudes of between 1,524 and 3,810 m.[1]

The summit rat has a mutualistic relationship with a species of giant pitcher plant, Nepenthes rajah. Like the treeshrew Tupaia montana, it defecates into the plant's traps while visiting them to feed on sweet, fruity secretions from glands on the pitcher lids.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baillie, J. 1996. Rattus baluensis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
  2. ^ Greenwood, M., C. Clarke, C.C. Lee, A. Gunsalam & R.H. Clarke 2011. A unique resource mutualism between the giant Bornean pitcher plant, Nepenthes rajah, and members of a small mammal community. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021114
  3. ^ Wells, K., M.B. Lakim, S. Schulz & M. Ayasse 2011. Pitchers of Nepenthes rajah collect faecal droppings from both diurnal and nocturnal small mammals and emit fruity odour. Journal of Tropical Ecology 27(4): 347–353. doi:10.1017/S0266467411000162