A team of Australian zoologists from the University of Melbourne has photographed a rare rat for the first time in history. The giant animal, which lives in the jungles of the Solomon Islands, was caught in a photo trap.
The University of Melbourne's website reports that Wangunu rats have long remained unexplored. Scientists learned about them only from the stories of local residents.
Residents of the Solomon Islands said that huge rats climb trees and split coconuts with their teeth.
In particular, in 2017, a group of American scientists managed to collect skin samples from Wangong and conduct DNA analysis, which showed that their owner belonged to a previously unknown species of rat, Uromys vika.
Zoologists have suggested that the rats weigh an average of one kilogram and reach a length of 45 centimeters (three times larger than ordinary rats). The species was named after the eponymous island of Wangunu, which is part of the Solomon Islands archipelago.
The scientists set up camera traps in the jungle and waited for a long time for the rats to get into the lens. In this way, they were able to capture up to a hundred images of Wangunu. Four individuals were caught on camera.
As a reminder, a rat epidemic has broken out in the normally fishing town of Karumba, located in the far north of Queensland in Australia.
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