Giant Rat That Fell From Sky Is New Species
The coconut-eating rodent tumbled from a logged tree on the Solomon Islands, a new study says.
For more than 20 years, people in the Solomon Islands have told scientists about huge rats that live in the treetops.
But no one could prove the creature actually existed—until November 2015, when loggers felled a 30-foot-tall tree on the island of Vangunu and a rat came crashing down with it.
Unfortunately for this rodent of unusual size, the fall took its life. But as fate would have it, a ranger from a nearby conservation area, Hikuna Judge, witnessed the animal’s last moments.
Knowing he'd found something special, Judge preserved the rat's remains and shipped them to the Queensland Museum in Australia.
“I immediately knew it was something new,” says mammalogist Tyrone Lavery, a fellow at the Queensland Museum and