Tuesday, December 25, 2012

[Mammalogy • 2011] Laonastes aenigmamus | an enigmatic rodent recently discovered in Khammouan, central Laos / Laonastes aenigmamus, rongeur énigmatique, récemment découvert au Laos


Figure 1 : kha-nyouLaonastes aenigmamus, adult male

The Laotian rock rat or kha-nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus), a small rodent the size of a rat discovered by chance on a Laotian market, is new to science. This small mammal lives in a very specific rocky habitat, in a seemingly limited territory. Its adaptations to a very specific biotope and lifestyle probably explain its survival and its late discovery.

Key words: Laonastes aenigmamus, rodents, new discovery, biotope, anatomical, physiological and behavioural adaptations.

Figure 3: Phylogenetic tree of rodents and taxonomic position of Laonastes. Laonastes belongs to the family of Diatomyidae believed to be disappeared for almost 20 million years ago.


Figure 2 : Typical landscape of Khammouan.


Keovichit, K., Nicolas, V. & Hugot J-P. 2011. Laonastes aenigmamus, an enigmatic rodent recently discovered in Laos | Laonastes aenigmamus, rongeur énigmatique, récemment découvert au Laos. Bull. Acad. Vet., France. 164, 135-140.

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