Dec 20, 2007

Giant rats in 'Lost World'

A giant rodent five times as big as a common rat has been discovered in the mountainous jungles of New Guinea. The 1.4kg Mallomys giant rat is one of two species of mammal thought to be new to science found on a trip to the "lost world". They also found a pygmy possum - one of the world's smallest marsupials

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat. With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip, " said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution.

The Foja Mountains, part of the Mamberamo Basin, contain the largest pristine tropical forest in the Asia Pacific region. In 2005, the area was dubbed a "lost world" after scientists discovered dozens of new plants and animals in the dense jungle. Link


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