Eek! A Giant New Rat

Papua New Guinea's 'lost world' yields more wonder
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2007 2:25 PM CST
In this undated photo released by Conservation International, a pygmy possum that is probably a species new to science, is seen in Foja mountains in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province, Indonesia....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Amid the lush paradise of a so-called lost world, researchers ran into a little reminder of the developed world's sewers: A heretofore undiscovered giant rat five times the size of gutter-variety rodents. The group also came across a new pygmy possum and various rare birds in the remote area of Papua New Guinea, the BBC reports.

The "cloud forest," over a mile above sea level, is home to scores of recently documented species, the Guardian reports. But the area, discovered in 2005, bears bad news for the timid: The Mallomys giant rat, like many animals in the area, is something of a ham. "With no fear of humans, it came into the camp several times during the trip," said one researcher. (Read more rats stories.)