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

SPECIES Protochromys fellowsi

Author:Hinton, 1943.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 11, 10: 554.
Common Name:Papuan Protochromys
Type Locality:Papua New Guinea, Purari-Ramu Divide, Baiyanka, 8000 ft (2440 m).
Distribution:Papua New Guinea; known only from a few places at high elevations (usually above 2000 m) in the Central Cordillera, from the Porgera area in the west (143EE) eastward to Mt Wilhelm in the Bismarck Range in the east (see Flannery, 1995a:292); may range farther west and east in Papua New Guinea (Menzies, 1996).
Status:IUCN Vulnerable as Melomys fellowsi.
Comments:Originally described as a very distinctive species of Melomys that resembles M. rufescens and M. leucogaster in some morphometric features (Menzies, 1990). Its inclusion in Melomys has always been questioned by systematists familiar with the group. Recently, Menzies (1996) demonstrated that while fellowsi shared traits with both Melomys and Paramelomys, it should be separated from both groups of species because of its pale (unpigmented to pale yellow) incisors, narrow zygomatic plate, and alisphenoid strut. Its separation as a different monophyletic entity will have to be tested by phylogenetic analyses of the Melomys-Paramelomys complex that also incorporate molecular data and a broader array of morphological traits.
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