1. ALEXANDRE R. PERCEQUILLO,
2. MARCELO WEKSLER,
3. LEONORA P. COSTA
We describe in this paper a new genus and species of cricetid rodent from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, one of the most endangered eco-regions of the world. The new form displays some but not all synapomorphies of the tribe Oryzomyini, but a suite of unique characteristics is also observed.
This new forest rat possesses anatomical characteristics of arboreal taxa, such as very developed plantar pads, but was collected almost exclusively in pitfall traps. Phylogenetic analyses of morphological (integument, soft tissue, cranial, and dental characters) and molecular [nuclear – Interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (Irbp) – and mitochondrial – cytochrome b– genes] datasets using maximum likelihood and cladistic parsimony approaches corroborate the inclusion of the new taxon within oryzomyines. The analyses also place the new form as sister species to Eremoryzomys polius, an Andean rat endemic to the Maranon valley.
This biogeographical pattern is unusual amongst small terrestrial vertebrates, as a review of the literature points to few other similar examples of Andean–Atlantic Forest pairings, in hylid frogs, Pionus parrots, and other sigmodontine rodents.
The Stolzmann’s fish-eating rat was one of the rarest mammals in the world, known from only seven specimens. But a new survey has revealed that, far from being on the brink of extinction, this once enigmatic rat species is becoming a “nuisance” to local fishermen, stealing their catches: here.
New population discovered of the Americas’ mini snow leopard: the Andean cat: here.