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Introducing the slender rat

The slender rat, based on genetic analysis, is the closest relative of the Sulawesi water rat (Waiomys mamasae). Source: Museum Victoria.

Vittorio Hernandez, Museum Victoria scientists discover the slender rat in Indonesia’s Mount Gandangdewata, International Business Times, 19 April 2016

Researchers from Museum Victoria and an international research team just discovered a new species of rodent. The animal was found on the slopes of Mount Gandangdewata in Sulawesi Islands, Indonesia.

The rodent is the slender rat (Gracilimus radix). It has a unique anatomy, which makes the new discovery also a new genus, a step higher than a new species in the taxonomic ranking.

The slender rat, based on genetic analysis, is the closest relative of the Sulawesi water rat (Waiomys mamasae). The two are from a group of carnivorous rodents endemic and found only in Sulawesi. But the scientists were surprised to discover that the slender rat is omnivorous, not carnivorous.

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