Scientists discover hog-nosed rat in Indonesia, named for never-before-seen features

Scientists from Australia's Museum Victoria have discovered a new species of hog-nosed rat in Indonesia that has never been documented in any scientific collection.
Scientists from Australia's Museum Victoria have discovered a new species of hog-nosed rat in Indonesia that has never been documented in any scientific collection. PHOTO: EPA
Scientists from Australia's Museum Victoria have discovered a new species of hog-nosed rat in Indonesia that has never been documented in any scientific collection.
Scientists from Australia's Museum Victoria have discovered a new species of hog-nosed rat in Indonesia that has never been documented in any scientific collection. PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA (AFP) - Researchers working in Indonesia have discovered a new species of mammal called the hog-nosed rat, named for its features that scientists said have never been seen before.

The creature was found in a remote mountainous area on the island of Sulawesi in central Indonesia, according to Australia's Museum Victoria whose scientists were involved.

The rat, whose scientific name is Hyorhinomys stuempkei, has features "never seen by science before", according to the museum in a statement released on Tuesday (Oct 6).

 

The discovery was made by a team of scientists from Indonesia, Australia and the United States.

As well as its large, flat, pink nose, with forward-facing nostrils similar to that of a pig's, the creature has extremely large ears, a small mouth and long white front teeth, according to the museum.

In photos the rodent appears to be about the size of a normal rat.

"I am still amazed that we can walk into a forest and find a new species of mammal that is so obviously different from any species... that has ever been documented by science," said Mr Kevin Rowe, a scientist from Museum Victoria who was involved in the research.

The mammal is carnivorous and probably feeds on such things as earthworms and beetle larvae.

The discovery was made in the north of Sulawesi, with the scientists guided into a mountainous and forested area by local villagers.