Uromys vika

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Uromys vika
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Uromys
Species: U. vika
Binomial name
Uromys vika
Lavery & Judge, 2017

The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae.[1][2] The rat was discovered in the island of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands in 2015,[3] after years of searching based on local stories, and described in 2017.[4] It was identified as a new species on the basis of its skull, skeleton and a detailed DNA analysis.[1] The single individual initially collected from a felled tree (Dillenia salomonensis) measured 46 cm long, weighed between 0.5 and 1.0 kg and had orange-brown fur.[1] Its diet is believed to include thick-shelled nuts like ngali nuts and coconuts,[3] and probably fruits.[1] The species is likely to be designated critically endangered, due to the small amount of forest habitat (about 80 km2) remaining on the island and ongoing logging.[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Young, E. (27 September 2017). "Giant, tree-dwelling rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22684. 
  2. ^ a b "Tree-dwelling, coconut-cracking giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands" (Press release). Field Museum. EurekaAlert!. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  3. ^ a b Choi, C. (26 September 2017), "Discovered: A Giant, Tree-Dwelling Rat that Munches Coconuts", Discover magazine, retrieved 2017-09-27 
  4. ^ Lavery, T. H.; Judge, H.; A new species of giant rat (Muridae, Uromys) from Vangunu, Solomon Islands, Journal of Mammalogy, gyx116, https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyx116