Enormous, coconut-cracking, tree-dwelling rat found in Solomon Islands

An 18-inch rat that lives in trees and is able to open coconuts with its teeth has been discovered in the Solomon Islands.

The rat, known as Uromys vika, has been particularly hard to find, becoming the first rat discovered in 80 years, mammalogist Tyrone Lavery said.

“The new species, Uromys vika, is pretty spectacular — it’s a big, giant rat,” Lavery said in a press release. “It’s the first rat discovered in 80 years from Solomons, and it’s not like people haven’t been trying — it was just so hard to find.”


For comparison purposes, a normal American rat weighs around 0.44 pounds. Solomon Island rats can weigh as much as 2.2 pounds and U. Vika is approximately a foot and a half long, from nose to the tip of its tail. 

Lavery had heard rumors that the creature existed, since his first trip to the islands in 2010. Lavery questioned whether he would ever find the rat and was not sure if it was really a new species or if he was just looking in the…

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