RANGE: New Guinea HABITAT: forest BODY: 11.5-15.25 in TAIL: 9.75-15 in
Rough-Tailed Giant Rat
This rat derives its common name from the thick overlapping scales covering the underside of its tail. As these scales are often worn down, it is thought that they act to prevent the tail from slipping when it is used as a brace when the rat is climbing. This shy, secretive species is poorly studied, but it appears to feed on epiphytic plants on the branches of trees and on insects.