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Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat

Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat


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Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat

Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat. Catalogue number NHM 1850.11.30.6

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Media ID 20160493

© Bubblepunk / Natural History Museum

Antillean Bone Commelinid Common Cricetidae Epitheria Eutheria Flowering Giant Mammalia Martinique Megalomys Monocot Monocotyledon Muridae Murinae Muroidea Muskrat Myomorpha Oryza Oryzomyini Placental Poaceae Poales Rattus Rice Rodent Rodentia Sativa Shot Skull Specimen Theria Angiospermae Magnoliophyta


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This photograph showcases the anatomical detail of a well-preserved skull of Megalomys desmarestii, the Antillean giant rice rat (NHM 1850.11.30.6). Hailing from the Antilles, this extinct rodent species is a member of the family Cricetidae, specifically the subfamily Murinae and the tribe Oryzomyini. The Antillean giant rice rat was a large, black rat, reaching lengths of up to 36 centimeters and weighing around 1 kilogram. The skull in the image reveals the rodent's distinctive features, including its elongated snout and large, powerful incisors, which were adapted for gnawing on the hard seeds of angiosperms, particularly those in the Poaceae family, such as rice. This rat was a herbivore, making it unique among its rodent relatives. Megalomys desmarestii is classified as a placental mammal, belonging to the order Theria, and the class Eutheria. Its taxonomic name honors the French naturalist Frédéric Cuvier Desmarest, who first described the species in 1822. The Antillean giant rice rat is also known by other common names, such as the Antillean giant rat, the Antillean rice rat, and the pilorie rat. The background of the photograph is tastefully simple, allowing the intricacies of the skull to take center stage. The specimen appears to have been expertly shot in a studio setting, with excellent lighting that brings out the details of the bone structure. The Antillean giant rice rat is an intriguing example of the diversity of the mammalian kingdom and the fascinating adaptations that have evolved over millions of years.

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