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Lost world of giant rat found in New Guinea: Report

Last Updated: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 11:52

Zeenews Bureau

London: Biologists have discovered a new species of giant rat, frogs, gecko along with some other rare animals including insects and spiders in a remote rainforest in New Guinea, Science Daily has reported.

The discovery was made in the crater of an extinct volcano named Mount Bosavi in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands province.

“This gigantic volcano’s crater is two and half miles wide and rimmed with walls nearly half a mile high, trapping the creatures inside a ‘lost world’ of mountain rainforests probably rarely visited by humans,” the Science Daily reported.

The discover was made by the Smithsonian Institution biologist along with the Natural History Unit of the BBC in a remote rainforest in New Guinea.

The woolly rat, which weighs nearly 3.5 pounds, measures 32 inches from nose to tail. It is one of the biggest rats in the world. Surprisingly, the rat was completely tame.

“The gigantic rat is silvery gray, with thick woolly fur. It has a vegetarian diet of leaves and roots, and probably builds underground nests beneath rocks and tree roots. A member of the genus Mallomys, it has yet to receive its formal scientific name,” it reported.

Apart from the giant rat, 16 species of frogs, one species of gecko, three species of fish, and at least 20 species of insects and spiders have also been discovered.

New Guinea boasts its diversity of rodents which include more than 70 species of rats and mice can be found on the tropical island.

First Published: Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 11:52

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