Uromys vika

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Uromys vika
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Uromys
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.[2][3] The rat was discovered in the island of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands in 2015,,[4] after years of searching based on local stories, and described in 2017.[5] It was identified as a new species on the basis of its skull, skeleton and a detailed DNA analysis.[2]

Discovery and publication[change | change source]

In November 2015 a wildlife ranger (Hikuna Judge) from the Zaira Conservation Area,[6] saw something (outside the conservation area): "a large rat ... [falling] from a 10m tree felled by loggers. The fall killed the rat - but the ranger shipped it to the Queensland Museum, in Australia, where ... Lavery was a fellow". Tyrone Lavery and Hikuna Judge published a species description, in 2017.[5]

Habitat[change | change source]

The rat fell of a tree, outside Zaira, a village on Vangunu Island.[7]

The species is likely to be called critically endangered, because of the small amount of forest habitat (about 80 km2) remaining on the island and ongoing logging.[2][3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Template:IUCN2019.2 Database entry includes justification for why this species is endangered
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Young, E. (27 September 2017). "Giant, tree-dwelling rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22684.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Field Museum (27 September 2017). "Tree-dwelling, coconut-cracking giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Press release. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/fm-tcg092117.php. Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  4. Choi, C. (26 September 2017), "Discovered: A Giant, Tree-Dwelling Rat that Munches Coconuts", Discover magazine, retrieved 2017-09-27
  5. 5.0 5.1 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
  6. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/giant-tree-dwelling-coconut-eating-rat-species-discovered/
  7. https://lite.cnn.io/en/article/h_2778bf0ae0119e5b01bc71ba59cddaf9