Rakali

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Rakali
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Hydromys
Species: H. chrysogaster
Binomial name
Hydromys chrysogaster
Geoffroy, 1804
Distribution of the Water Rat

Hydromys chrysogaster, also known as Rakali or Water-rat, is an Australian native rodent. The species lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries. It feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds' eggs and water birds. Rakali are 231–370 millimetres (9.1–14.6 in) in length with a thick tail measuring around 242–345 millimetres (9.5–13.6 in). They weigh 340–1,275 grams (0.750–2.811 lb). They have webbed hind legs, waterproof fur, a flattened head, a long blunt nose, many whiskers and small ears and eyes. They are black to brown in colour with an orange to white belly, and dark tail with a white tip.

Common names[change | edit source]

Until the 1980s, this species was commonly known as Water-rat. During the 1990s there was a push for English common names to be replaced with indigenous names. In 1995 the Australian Nature Conservation Agency recommended that the name Rakali be used as the common name.[2] The Australian Department of Environment and Heritage has taken up this suggestion and both common names are now used.


References[change | edit source]

  1. Aplin, K., Copley, P., Robinson, T., Burbidge, A., Morris, K., Woinarski, J., Friend, T., Ellis, M. & Menkhorst, P. (2008). PHydromys chrysogaster. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 10 October 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Braithwaite R. W. et al. (1995). Australian names for Australian rodents. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. ISBN 0642213739.

Other websites[change | edit source]