(Mirror Daily, United States) – For many years, scientists have heard of a giant rat species living on the Solomon Islands in the Pacific Ocean. However, they couldn’t find it, so they assumed it was just a legend of the local people. When they had started losing their hope, they suddenly spotted what the locals called a vika, namely a rat of an unusual size, which almost reached half a meter in length.
The locals of the Solomon Islands have been telling scientists of a fearful giant rat they used to call vika. This mysterious animal climbed in trees, where it also dwelled, but the scientists’ searches remained unsuccessful. Since they couldn’t find anything, they started suspecting the giant rat was actually a figment of the locals’ imagination.
However, their opinion quickly changed when they managed to spot a giant rat-like creature running away from a tree felled to the ground. The researchers managed to analyze it, and discovered it doesn’t fit any of the species known as native on the Solomon Islands. Therefore, they quickly realized the locals were right, and gave it a Latin denomination which honored the local name: Uromys vika.
The rat is a rare and unique creature, and is already threatened with extinction
They agreed the rat species was something you don’t see every day. It is unusually big, weighs almost a kilogram and it’s the first to be discovered in 80 years on the islands. However, even though it has an impressive size, it was no easy find. Since it lives in trees, it’s harder to look for it than it would have been to only search the ground.
The rat is so big that researchers assumed it had the strength necessary to crack coconuts open with its teeth. They haven’t witnessed the animal doing so, but they found big holes in several nutshells. Unfortunately, they think the animal is already endangered, as it’s quickly losing its habitat. The wood industry is quickly cutting down the forests on the Solomon Islands, threatening many other creatures.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons