Astonishing Hog-Nosed Rat Species Found In Indonesia

Posted: Oct 6 2015, 9:31pm CDT | by , Updated: Oct 7 2015, 4:59pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

Astonishing Hog-Nosed Rat Found in Indonesia
Courtesy of Victoria Museum

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Hog nosed rat is a new species discovered in the mountainous region of island Sulawesi in Indonesia.

Researchers have discovered a new species of rat in Indonesia. It has got a unique hog-like nose and extremely large ears, which make it distinguish from other rat species in the region.

The new rat species was spotted in the remote, mountainous area of island Sulawesi in Indonesia. A team of researchers from Australia and Indonesia, who were doing fieldwork in the region, were amazed to see this unusual rat.

“We had never seen anything like this. It was obviously a new species.” Jacob A. Esselstyn, a curator from Museum of Natural Science said.

The rat has a large, flat pink nose with forward-facing nostrils, just like that of a pig. Its extremely large ears make 21% of head and body length. It has long white teeth, very long urogenital hairs and long hind legs which were presumably used for hopping. The creature is measured at 1.48 feet in length and probably eats worms and insect larva.

The rat species is genetically so different from the other species that scientists are forced to call it a new genus and have named it Hyorhinomys stuempkei or hog-nosed rat.

This is the third new genus to be discovered in the island by the same group of researchers since 2012. The island of Sulawesi is a rich and complex mountainous region which has not been fully surveyed; especially its high elevation area is not reached yet.

“There’s a lot of biogeographic complexity at Sulawesi,” said Kevin Rowe, mammal curator at Victoria Museum and a member of the research team. “So we’re not too surprised that we’re finding new things. But our team has been a bit surprised by the degree to which these animals are really novel. They are not just subtly different organisms but really charismatically different.”

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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