Cerrado rat

Carterodon sulcidens

SUBFAMILY

Eumysopinae

TAXONOMY

Echimys sulcidens (Lund, 1841), Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. First described in 1841 from remains in fossil owl pellets. The first live specimen was found in 1851. Very few have been found since.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 6.1-7.9 in (15.5-20 cm). Tail 2.7-3.1 in (6.8-8 cm). Yellow-brown above, flanks grayish, with a reddish throat and neck. Under parts are yellowish with a white mid-line blotch. The tail is thin, and black above and pale yellow below. Fur on the back has spines and bristles. Spines are flexible and end in long hairlike projections.

DISTRIBUTION

The central uplands of Brazil.

HABITAT

Cerrado vegetation (a grassland with sparse trees and seasonal rains that looks a lot like the African savanna).

BEHAVIOR

This species digs a shallow burrow in soil between pockets of dense vegetation, and lines this burrow and the chamber at the bottom with leaves and grasses. Emerges late afternoon or early evening to feed.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Not known. May feed on roots and herbs.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds in late dry season. Further information is not yet known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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