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:11/28/2016)... "The biometric system market projected to ... system market is in the growth stage and is ... biometric system market is expected to be valued at ... 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Government initiative in adoption ... rising use of biometric technology in financial institutes and ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Nov. 22, 2016   ... that supports the entire spectrum of clinical research, is ... by Medical LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards ... This award caps off an unprecedented year of recognition ... clinical trials for over 15 years. iMedNet ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market Watch: ... Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to ... for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate ... region during the analysis period 2014-2020. North ... of 9.95% followed by Europe at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... 7, 2016  Nordion, a standalone business of ... welcome today,s award by the United States Department ... of the Phase II cooperative agreement funding to ... the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center (MURR ... the establishment of a new, reliable supply of ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ROCHESTER, Minn. , Dec. 7, 2016  Vyriad ... McQuinn to the company,s Board of Directors. ... board as we build our business and develop our ... for cancer therapy," said Stephen Russell , MD, ... Mary Agnes , share our vision and passion for ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... and ANN ARBOR, Mich. , ... biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough immune modulatory medicines, announced today ... the Company,s lead therapeutic candidate, LYC-30937- E nteric ... a debilitating skin disease that is estimated to affect ... United States , with approximately 1.5 - 3 ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Proscia Inc., the provider of the leading ... migration of large pathology data sets to the Proscia Pathology Cloud platform. The ... digital pathology. Proscia’s free massive dataset migrator makes the secure, HIPAA-compliant upload of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: