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Giant 1.5-foot-long rat that can crack open coconuts photographed for 1st time on remote island


At the time of its discovery, the Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika) was the first new species of rodent described from the Solomon Islands in over 80 years. (Image credit: Courtesy of Dr Tyrone Lavery)

The first ever images of the Vangunu giant rat, an elusive rodent that can grow up to 1.5 feet long and is known from only a single specimen that fell out of a tree six years ago, have been recorded by researchers in the Solomon Islands.

Using camera traps and a particularly tasty lure, the team snapped pictures of four rodents at least twice the size of common rats scurrying around the forest floor on the Solomon Islands, an archipelago northeast of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. 

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