The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae. The rat was discovered in the island of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands in 2015,, after years of searching based on local stories, and described in 2017. It was identified as a new species on the basis of its skull, skeleton and a detailed DNA analysis.
Lavery & Judge, 2017
Discovery and publicationEdit
In November 2015 a wildlife ranger (Hikuna Judge) from the Zaira Conservation Area, saw something (outside the conservation area): "a large rat ... [falling] from a 10m tree felled by loggers. The fall killed the rat - but the ranger shipped it to the Queensland Museum, in Australia, where ... Lavery was a fellow". Tyrone Lavery and Hikuna Judge published a species description, in 2017.
- Template:IUCN2019.2 Database entry includes justification for why this species is endangered
- Young, E. (27 September 2017). "Giant, tree-dwelling rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Nature. doi:10.1038/nature.2017.22684.
- Field Museum (27 September 2017). "Tree-dwelling, coconut-cracking giant rat discovered in Solomon Islands". Press release. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/fm-tcg092117.php. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
- Choi, C. (26 September 2017), "Discovered: A Giant, Tree-Dwelling Rat that Munches Coconuts", Discover magazine, retrieved 2017-09-27
- Lavery, T. H.; Judge, H.; A new species of giant rat (Muridae, Uromys) from Vangunu, Solomon Islands, Journal of Mammalogy, gyx116, https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyx116