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Latest Old World rats and mice Stories

2012-01-26 12:10:27

It comes as a surprise to many that male house mice produce melodious songs to attract mates.  Unfortunately for us, because the melodies are in the ultra-sonic range human ears cannot detect them.  Through spectrographic analyses of the vocalizations of wild house mice, researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna  have found that the songs of male mice contain signals of individuality and kinship.  Their results appear in the journal Physiology &...

Rat Frees Trapped Cagemate In New Experiment
2011-12-09 07:59:05

While being referred to as a rat usually has negative connotations, a new study from the University of Chicago has revealed that rodents could be actuaally be generous and empathetic to their fellow creatures. According to a Thursday article by David Brown of the Washington Post, researchers at the university were attempting to find out whether or not one rat would release another from "an unpleasantly restrictive cage" if it had the opportunity. The answer, as it turns out, was yes. As...

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2011-08-03 11:05:00

Researchers studying the African Crested Rat have found that it uses an ingenious tool to ward off predators. The rodent consumes a poisonous plant toxin and spits the saliva onto sponge-like hairs on its fur. Jonathan Kingdon and colleagues from the National Museums of Kenya, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and University of Oxford published their observations of this study online in the Proceedings of The Royal Society B. When attacked by predators, the rat puts on a dramatic...

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2011-07-22 06:15:00

A new study shows how house mice found unexpected ways to evolve resistance to a common poison and thrive, despite humanity's best efforts to keep them at bay. Rice University researchers analyzed a genetic mutation that has given ordinary European house mice this extraordinary ability. The gene in question, known as vkorc1, is present in all mammals and manages vitamin K.  They found that a mutation to vkorc1 makes mice resistant to warfarin, an anticoagulant used as a blood thinner...

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2011-07-10 18:52:41

International team's discovery in Philippines showcases biodiversity, evolutionary wondersAfter living incognito for millions of years in a remote area of a forested mountain range in the Philippines, seven newfound species of mice owe their recent discovery to DNA evidence and the Florida State University biologist who deciphered it.What's more, the DNA drawn from the reclusive "new" mammals told FSU Associate Professor Scott J. Steppan an unusual evolutionary story. As he analyzed and...

2011-06-21 15:19:22

A group of American and Filipino biologists have discovered seven previously unknown species of mammals in the Philippines, increasing the number of native mammals known from Luzon Island (excluding bats) from 42 to 49 (17 percent). The formal descriptions of the seven species, all of which are members of the genus Apomys, were published on 20 May in Fieldiana, the peer-reviewed journal of The Field Museum, where the project is based. The nine co-authors included biologists from the...


Latest Old World rats and mice Reference Libraries

Striped Field Mouse, Apodemus agrarius
2012-07-27 12:43:51

The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) has a range that extends from Eastern Europe to Japan, and includes Siberia and Taiwan. It prefers a habitat within cornfields and other agricultural fields or human populated areas, and forests. It has many synonyms, or other names, including Apodemus albostriatus given by Bechstein in 1801 and Apodemus volgensis given by Kuznetzov in 1944. This mouse can reach an average body length of up to 4.9 inches, with a tail length of up to 3.5 inches...

Armored Rat, Hoplomys gymnurus
2012-07-17 14:40:46

The armored rat (Hoplomys gymnurus) is the only species within the Hoplomys genus. It is native to Latin America, with a range that extends from northern Honduras into northwestern Ecuador. It prefers a habitat at altitudes of up to 2,600 feet. It resides in burrows that can be up to 6.6 feet in length, and these burrows are typically located near a water source. The armored rat bears spines across its back, resembling a porcupine, and indeed, they are more related to the porcupine than...

Barbary Striped Grass Mouse, Lemniscomys barbarous
2012-06-25 17:15:04

The Barbary striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarous) is native to northwest Africa. Its range includes Algeria, Tunisia, and coastal Morocco. It was thought that this range also included Sub-Saharan Africa, although the populations occurring here are now considered a distinct species known as Heuglin's Striped Grass Mouse. Along with Heuglin's and Hoogstral's Striped Grass Mouse, the Barbary striped grass mouse bears fur that is both darkly and lightly striped, while most other members...

Sand Rat, Psammomys obesus
2012-06-20 16:14:18

The sand rat (Psammomys obesus), also known as the fat sand rat, is found in North Africa, as well as the Middle East. Its range extended from Mauritania to the Arabian Peninsula. It prefers habitats within sandy deserts, but it can be found within saline marsh areas and areas with rocky ground. It will burrow under vegetation like saltbushes, where rats can often be found foraging. There are many medical uses for the sand rat. Because of their tendency to get diabetes mellitus when fed a...

Maned Rat, Lophiomys imhausi
2012-05-23 13:57:55

The maned rat (Lophiomys imhausi), also known as the crested rat, has a range that includes Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. It prefers a habitat located in highland forests and woodlands in these areas, while in Somalia and Ethiopia it prefers to reside in areas nearly at sea level. These rats will nest in hollow tree trunks or rocky areas, as well as within cliff-faces. The maned rat can reach a length of up to twenty-one inches, including the tail. The soft undercoat of...

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Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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