Navigation Links
Scientists discover odd-ball rodent

Editor : Sadly, no picture available yet, but there's a recent wiki article with more details. New family of mammals? Wow!

Is it a squirrel? A rat? A Guinea pig? Try none of the above.

A team of scientists working in Southeast Asia have discovered a long-whiskered rodent with stubby legs and a tail covered in dense hair. But don't call it a squirrel. Or a rat. Because it's actually more like a guinea pig or chinchilla. But not quite. In fact the new species, found in Laos by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and other groups, is so unique it represents an entire new family of wildlife.

The new species is described in the recent issue of the journal Systematics and Biodiversity by authors from WCS, The Natural History Museum in London, University of Vermont and WWF Thailand.

Called Kha-Nyou by local people, the species was discovered by WCS researcher Dr. Robert Timmins in a hunter's market in Central Laos. WCS is working in Laos to help enact an aggressive program designed to halt illegal wildlife trade where poaching has devastated animal populations.

"It was for sale on a table next to some vegetables. I knew immediately it was something I had never seen before," said Dr. Timmins. Dr Mark Robinson, working with WWF Thailand later discovered other specimens caught by hunters, and also identified bone fragments in an owl pellet. Based on morphological differences in the skull and bone structure, coupled with DNA analysis, the authors estimate that the Kha-Nyou diverged from other rodents millions of years ago.

"To find something so distinct in this day and age is just extraordinary. For all we know, this could be the last remaining mammal family left to be discovered," Dr. Timmins said.

Very little is known about the Kha-Nyou, other than it seems to prefer areas of limestone outcroppings and forest cover, and it appears to be a nocturnal vegetarian. It also gives birth to one offspring at a time, rather than a litter.

Dr. Timmins, who also discovered a new species of striped rabbit from the same region in 1999, warns that habitat protection and regulations to reduce unsustainable commercial hunting are vital to safeguarding remaining populations of the Kha-Nyou and a gallery of other unusual species.

"Skeptics might say that if we are still discovering such amazing new animals, why are people worried about wildlife loss; but of course it is an indication of how little we know, and a window onto what we could be losing without ever knowing," said Dr. Timmins.


'"/>

Source:Wildlife Conservation Society


Related biology news :

1. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
2. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
3. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
4. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
5. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
8. Scientists decipher genome of fungus that can cause life-threatening infections
9. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
10. Scientists rid stem cell culture of key animal cells
11. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With ... Identification to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... report, " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By ... 2011 - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected ... of growing security concerns across various end use sectors ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... UAE, May 9, 2016 Elevay ... comes to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals ... in today,s globally connected world, there is still no ... could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm ... passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic ... sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by ... tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has already ... therapeutics in multiple cancer types. Over ... DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle ... people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. ... years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
Breaking Biology Technology: