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SPECIES Crateromys australis

Author:Musser, Heaney, and Rabor, 1985.
Citation:Am. Mus. Novit., 2821: 3.
Common Name:Dinagat Crateromys
Type Locality:Philippines, Surigao del Norte Province, Dinagat Isl, Loreto Municipality, Balitbiton.
Distribution:Greater Mindanao Faunal Region in the Philippines. Endemic to Dinagat Isl and known only from the type locality in tropical lowland evergreen rainforest (Heaney et al., 1999).
Status:IUCN Endangered.
Comments:Known only by the holotype. People living on the nearby island of Siargao reported seeing an arboreal rat resembling C. australis (Oliver et al, 1993). Pelage texture and coloration of C. australis is strikingly different from the other species of Crateromys, in some ways recalling species of Batomys; its molar occlusal patterns also resemble those characterizing Batomys. The latter is much smaller in body size, and terrestrial. A larger sample of C. australis is required from which data can be derived for analyses of morphological and molecular traits to test the following phylogenetic alternatives: 1) the species is a Crateromys unlike any other in the genus, 2) a giant arboreal Batomys, 3) a phylogenetic link between Crateromys and Batomys, or 4) member of a separate clade.
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