Meet the only Mammal on the Top 10 New Species List

Say g'day to slender rat

The Slender Rat, Gracilimus Radix is a new genus of rodent, found by the scientists from the Museum of Victoria in the rainforests of Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.

The list, which comprises of plants and animals from all over the world, features a new spider named after Harry Potter’s sorting hat, a new bush tomato and an endangered orchid. The final list was selected from 18,000 new species discovered in the past year.

The list is important as it highlights how fast we are losing species than discovering them. Currently, we are at risk of losing 70% of all plant and animal species over the course of 300 years.

Image: Slender rat, Kevin Rowe

Kevin Rowe the Senior Curator of Mammalogy, Museums Victoria was excited by the discovery of the new rat genus:

We hope that the recognition of the Slender Rat and our other discoveries on Sulawesi bring greater attention to Sulawesi’s amazing but threatened forests, which are home to many thousands of species found nowhere else.

The rat is so unique in its anatomy that is been labelled as a new genus – a rank above species in the taxonomic rank.  Though the Slender Rat lives on land, its closest relative is an amphibious water dwelling rat. Its diet reveals that the rat is an evolutionary reversal as it dines on both plants and animals, unlike its closest relatives who are exclusively carnivorous. The discovery of the Slender Rat is one of four new mammals discovered in four years.

Our discoveries of rodent species are a strong indication of the exceptional diversity of plants and animals preserved in the forests of Gandangdewata, many of which remain unknown to science.

Header: Slender rat, Kevin Rowe

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