Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Species of Forest Rats

Seven new species of forest rats was discovered by scientists in Luzon, the Philippines's largest island, says a new study suggests. The discovery of this new species of forest rats, increased the number of native animals on the island of Luzon.

According to scientists, the seven strains of mice is part of a subgenus called Megapomys, which is part of the genus Apomys. These mice are relatively large, weighing approximately 65-110 grams. Two of the seven new types of mice were found on Mount Tapulao in Zambales Mountains, and two are found on Mount Banahaw, an active volcano in the Philippines, two more in the mountains Mingan in the province of Aurora, and the remainder was found in the mountains of Sierra Madree in northeast Luzon.

"These mice were indeed found in the mountainous region. They usually avoid humans and are harmless. They used to eat earthworms and seeds," said Lawrance Heaney of the Filed Museum in Chicago. Lawrance said that despite its small size, these animals are an important part of animal diversity in the Philippines.

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