Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cloud Rat found after 112 years

From Mt. Pulag National Park in the Philippines comes the dramatic rediscovery of a species missing for 112 years. That's actually not a record for the time between finding specimens of an animal - that honor goes to the Bermuda petrel, or cahow, which vanished for three centuries - but the return of the dwarf cloud rat (Carpomys melanurus) is a still a rare good news story for mammologists.
The rediscovery was accomplished by a team led by the Field Museum's Lawrence Heaney. He said, "This beautiful little animal was seen by biologists only once previously — by a British researcher in 1896 who was given several specimens by local people, so he knew almost nothing about the ecology of the species. Since then, the species has been a mystery, in part because there is virtually no forest left on Mt. Data, where it was first found."

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