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Nature & Environment

Rare Vangunu giant rat caught on camera for the first time ever

By T.K. Randall
November 24, 2023 · Comment icon 4 comments
The Vangunu giant rat.
Image Credit: Ecology and Evolution (2023) / DOI: 10.1002/ece3.10703
Native to the Solomon Islands, the rat hadn't even been recognized as a real species until relatively recently.
Stories of enormous rats capable of climbing trees and biting through the shells of coconuts had been told among the local population of the Solomon Islands for years, prompting raised eyebrows from scientists who had long wondered if the rat really existed or if tales of its huge size were mere fables.

This all changed in 2017, however, when researchers from the Field Museum in Chicago visited the islands in person in an attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery once and for all.

It turned out that the rats - named the Vangunu giant rat (or Uromys vika) - were very much the real deal.
Weighing 1kg and measuring up to 45cm in length, these huge rodents were around four times the size of other, more common species of rats.

Despite positively identifying the rats, however, the researchers were unable to get a photograph of one and this remained the case until much more recently when a separate team successfully managed to film the rodents for the first time using camera traps set up in the jungle.

They based the positions of the traps on what the locals told them and in the end succeeded in capturing 95 images of the rats as they scurried through the jungle foliage.

Sadly, though, it looks as though the rats may not be around for much longer as logging in the area is likely to completely destroy their habitat within just a few years.

Source: Phys.org | Comments (4)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 months ago
TX on the post. Glad the scientists or "researchers " came to the solution/conclusion: " the real deal " .
Comment icon #2 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 3 months ago
Then there is this --- "Sadly, though, it looks as though the rats may not be around for much longer as logging in the area..." Sadly,,,? Send this loggers your love   
Comment icon #3 Posted by Cho Jinn 3 months ago
Those loggers should just go live in the Big City and work for the hot tech startup!  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Laserburn 3 months ago
Yep... That sure is a rat.


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