New Spiny Rat Discovered in Halmahera Island in Indonesia

Posted on September 20, 2013

A new rat genus has been discovered in Halmahera Island in Indonesia. The rat, named Spiny Boki Mekot Rat, was found close to the locality of Boki Mekot, a mountainous area under severe ecological threat from mining and deforestation. The rat was found by researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Indonesia's Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense. BBC News reports that the rat was discovered using traps baited with roasted coconut and peanut butter.

The rat, Halmaheramys bokimekot, is described in a press release as being a "spiny rat of medium body size with brownish grey fur on its back and a greyish white belly."

Project leader Pierre-Henri Fabre from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, at University of Copenhagen, says in a statement, "his new rodent highlights the large amount of unknown biodiversity in this Wallacean region and the importance of its conservation. It constitutes a valuable addition to our knowledge of the Wallacean biodiversity and much remains to be learned about mammalian biodiversity across this region. Zoologists must continue to explore this area in order to discover and describe new species in this highly diverse, but also threatened region."

A report on the discovery was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean society.

More from Science Space & Robots