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Galápagos Rice Rat

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Galápagos Rice Rat
Galapagos-rice-rat-Santa-Fe-Island-subspecies
Information
Range Galápagos Islands
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Cricetidae
Genus Aegialomys
Species A. galapagoensis
Conservation Status
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

The Galápagos Rice Rat, also known as the Galápagos oryzomys, (Aegialomys galapagoensis) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae from the Galápagos Islands. It belongs to the genus Aegialomys in tribe Oryzomyini, but was previously placed in Oryzomys as Oryzomys galapagoensis. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. Like many of the animals of the Galápagos, it is tame and unafraid of humans. Scientists working on Santa Fé Island and Fernandina Island have reported that it is necessary to keep tents open to prevent these rice rats from chewing in during the night. The subspecies A. g. bauri from Santa Fé Island is sometimes considered to represent a full species. A. g. galapagoensis was formerly found on San Cristóbal Island, where Charles Darwin captured several live specimens on the second voyage of HMS Beagle in 1855. However, it is believed that it became extinct only decades after Darwin's visit, and the next specimens collected were subfossil remains found in lava tubes by David Steadman and colleagues in 1984. Its closest relative is Aegialomys xanthaeolus, the only other species in the genus, which is found in coastal Ecuador and Peru.

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