Giant Rat Found in 'Lost Volcano'

Fanged toads, mini 'Ewoks' among species discovered in New Guinea jungle
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2009 11:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – A new species of giant rat with no fear of humans has been discovered in a volcanic crater deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. It's the same kind of rat "you find in city sewers"—except it's 32 inches long, said a scientist traveling with a BBC film crew to the "lost" Mount Bosavi crater. The international expedition discovered the rat and some 40 other species, including bizarre fanged toads, grunting fish, and tiny bear-like creatures.

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The survival of the spectacular discoveries—which a BBC series beginning tomorrow, Lost Land of the Volcano, will highlight—is threatened by the fact that the local rainforest is being destroyed at the rate of 3.5% a year, the Guardian reports. "It was mind-blowing to be there," said the leader of the expedition. "It is clearly time we decided these habitats are worth saving." (Read more species stories.)

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