Montane bamboo rat

Olallamys albicauda

SUBFAMILY

Dactylominae

TAXONOMY

Thrinacodus albicauda (Günther, 1879), Medellin, Antioqua Department, Colombia. Thrinacodus had been used since the animals' original description until American zoologist Louise Emmons pointed out that this name had already been given to a fossil shark. Under the rules governing the naming of animals, no two may share the same name, so the species was given a new name. The new name celebrated the Ecuadorian collector Carlos Olalla and his four sons Alfonso, Manuel, Ramón, and Rosalino, who collected mammals all over the Amazon and elsewhere in South America between 1922 and 1969.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Seven to 9.5 in (18 to 24 cm) in body length, with a tail up to 13.7 in (35 cm). Fur on the back and flanks is reddish, and the belly fur is yellowish white. The thick soft fur lacks spines, but possesses other internal characteristics of the family.

DISTRIBUTION

Northwest and central Colombia.

HABITAT

Groves of Chusquea bamboo in the montane forests of the Colombian Andes, 6,560-7,550 ft (2000-2,300 m) in altitude.

BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal and arboreal, with the long tail used as a balancing pole. These animals make a whistling cry.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Nothing is known.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nothing is known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened due to habitat destruction.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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