Welcome the hog-nosed rat, the newly discovered species, dwelling on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia.
The new species is quite remarkable. And not only for its unique morphology, but also for the fact that, according to the scientific team that brought it to light, it deserve its own genus.
Researchers from the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Sciences, led by curator Jake Esselstyn and colleagues from the Dutch Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, as well as Australian and Indonesian scientists embarked on a journey of discovery that led them to the island of Sulawesi.
Here, upon placing some traps during the night they captured five specimens of the hog-nosed rat, the newly discovered species. On close look, the hog-nosed rat doesn’t look much like anything you’ve seen before. It’s nose looks more like a pig’s snout, thus its name. It’s teeth do indicate it’s more of a rodent, as well its size, but they’re always uncovered and stick out. It might look slightly like a Guinea pig, but it’s not.
So, welcome the hog-nosed rat, the newly discovered species, scientifically titled Hyorhinomys Stuempkei. The scientific name aptly describes the species: hyo translates into hog, rhino means nose, while mys completes the description by its meaning – rat.
The hog-nosed rat is unique. It is a mammal that has lost the coronoid process entirely, which drew the attention of the research team. Another surprising aspect is that it has very long pubic hair, a feature usually not observed in rats, but other mammals in Australia. How they might be related is still a task on the researchers’ list.
The hog-nosed rat has almost the snout of a hog, with nostrils that certainly remind of one. Its facial structure is elongated. The ears are slightly too large for a rat this size. Among the most recognizable features are its lower teeth, reminding of shrew rats.
At the same time, the long lower incisors are sticking out, while the mouth can’t really open. As such, the researchers believe that the hog-nosed rat is feeding on insect larvae, earthworms or other invertebrates in its environment.
Another specific trait of the newly discovered species are its long hind legs, possibly used for hopping around.
The hog-nosed rat, the newly discovered species was described in a scientific paper in The Journal of Mammalogy.
Photo Credits: smh.com.au
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