February 24, 2024

Biodiversity: The first image of a giant rat

Residents of Fangunu, an island in the Solomon Islands, repeatedly told passing biologists that large rodents lived in the rainforests of their island: it climbed trees and gnawed coconuts with its teeth. But it wasn’t until 2017 that these reports were scientifically confirmed: an expedition from the Field Museum in Chicago discovered and named a large rodent species. Oromis Vika. However, the participants at that time could not create an image, they only made illustrations. A working group led by Tyrone Lavery of the University of Melbourne did this with the help of local rangers. For the first time, photos published in the journal “Ecology and Evolution” prove the existence of the giant Fanjuno rat.