Study of skull, as well as DNA analysis, confirms new species in genus of mosaic tailed rats or Uromys

A mysterious and elusive species of giant rat that lives in the dense rainforest canopy of the Solomon Islands, and is reputed to open coconuts with its teeth, has been discovered by scientists and is likely to be quickly listed as critically endangered.

For decades, the rat’s existence had been suspected, with traditional knowledge of the rat’s ecology noted in a publications. For example, in 1995, one account recorded traditional knowledge of “a very big rat that eats coconuts” and lived in the trees.

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