BBC discovers a giant rat that is as big as a cat
Monday 07 September 2009
If you have a tendency to jump skrieking on to a table when you see a mouse, look away now: a species of rat the size of a cat has been discovered.
The outsized rodent, which has been named the Bosavi woolly rat, is almost 3 feet long and weighs in at 3.3lbs. It was found trapped inside the crater of Mount Bosavi, an extinct volcano on Papua New Guinea, which has been described as a "lost world" in which scientists have found some 40 previously undiscovered species.
The rat has dense silvery grey fur and the shape of its teeth suggests it is primarily a vegetarian. It is thought to live in subterranean nests.
The animal was found by a BBC Natural History Unit film crew and Dr Kristofer Helgen, of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
"This is the one of the world's largest rats," he said. "It is a true rat, related to the same kind you find in the city sewers, but a heck of a lot bigger."
Some of the other new species found include a fanged frog, a fish that grunts, and a gecko. The fish has been called the henamo grunter because of the noises it makes with its swim bladder.
The first episode of Lost Land of the Volcano, a series on Mount Bosavi, will screen at 9pm tomorrow on BBC One.
Sun to experience solar activity similar to that of 'Little Ice Age' hundreds of years ago
Leftover coffee 'can help fight global warming'
Pope Francis calls for a new system of global government to tackle climate change
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Big Six energy companies have 'quietly abandoned their green electricity tariffs'
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...