Hog-nosed Rat Species Discovered Indonesia

Posted on October 6, 2015

A new species of rat has been discovered in the Indonesian jungle. It has been named the hog-nosed rat because of its pig-like nose. The rat also has very large ears for its size.

The rat was found in a high-altitude jungle on Sulawesi island. The team included scientists from Australia, Indonesia and the United States. It is been given the scientific name, Hyorhinomys stuempkei. The Greek origin words in this name include "hyo" for hog, "rhino" for nose and "mys" for rat.

Kevin Rowe from Museum Victoria was part of the research team. He told BBC News, "We were on a mission to survey remote mountains in the area and to put evolution in Asia and Australia into context. Nothing is currently known about these rats and how widely they were distributed throughout the forests."

The rats weigh about half a pound (250 grams). In addition to its extremely large ears and pig-like nose the rat also has extremely long incisors and very long urogenital hairs. Scientists do not the exact reason for the rat's long pubic hairs but they suspect it "probably helps it in some kind of reproductive way."

A story about the rat in the Sydney Morning Herald says the rat can barely open its mouth suggesting it must slurp up its diet of earthworms and beetle larvae.

Here is a video that shows the jungle where the rat was discovered. Take a look:

A research paper on the hog-nosed shrew rat can be found here in the Journal of Mammalogy.

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