NEW SPECIES

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News -

VAN­GUNU GI­ANT RAT

WHAT IS IT? Only a sin­gle spec­i­men of this al­most 0.5m-long ro­dent has been col­lected to date, and it died soon af­ter cap­ture. In­evitably, very lit­tle is known about it, other than it lives in trees and is re­ported by lo­cal peo­ple to eat co­conuts.

WHERE IS IT? Ap­par­ently en­demic to Van­gunu in the Solomon Is­lands, there have been ru­mours of its ex­is­tence for 20 years on the ba­sis of in­for­ma­tion from is­lan­ders. The sin­gle, mor­tally in­jured spec­i­men was col­lected when a tree was felled by log­gers. It is thought to be Crit­i­cally En­dan­gered.

The ex­is­tence of this gi­ant rat has been sus­pected for over 20 years.

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