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HOME --> CLASS MAMMALIA  --> ORDER RODENTIA  --> SUBORDER MYOMORPHA  --> SUPERFAMILY Muroidea  --> FAMILY Muridae  --> SUBFAMILY Murinae  --> GENUS Rattus

SPECIES Rattus morotaiensis

Author:Kellogg, 1945.
Citation:Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 58: 66.
Common Name:Halmahara Rat
Type Locality:Indonesia, Moluccas, Pulau Morotai, off N coast of Pulau Halmahera.
Distribution:Endemic to the Halmahara Isls; recorded from Morotai, Halmahara, and Batjan Isls (Flannery, 1995b).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Rattusspecies-group unresolved. Arboreal, and the only recorded murine endemic to the Halmahara Isls. Kellogg (1945) regarded R. morotaiensis to be more closely related to the New Guinea species ("R. ringens group") than to Sundaic species ("Rattus rajah group"), but morphology of the Halmahara rat indicates otherwise (K. Aplin, in litt., 2004). It is characterized by a suite of distinctive external traits (very spiny fur, long slightly tufted tail), cranial conformation, and molar structure (posterior cingula on upper molars, large peg-like anterolabial and anterolingual cusps on m1, wide cingular margins on m2, and crenulated enamel on all molars) not found in any other species of Rattus from New Guinea, the Moluccas, or anywhere else (Musser and Holden, ms). Reviewed by Flannery (1995b).
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