(CNN) After years of searching, researchers have confirmed the discovery a new mammal in the Solomon Islands: an endangered giant tree rat known as … After years of … The giant tree-rat ( Toromys grandis) is a species in the family Echimyidae, the spiny rats.

It is endemic to Brazil, where it occurs in the flooded forest along the banks of the Amazon River and its tributaries.

It is the only species in the monotypic genus Toromys. The giant Atlantic tree-rat (Phyllomys thomasi) is a spiny rat species from South America.The species is endemic to São Sebastião Island off the coast of São Paulo State, Brazil, which is protected by the Ilhabela State Park.. References Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery first heard stories about ‘vika’, a giant, coconut-cracking, tree-dwelling rat from the Solomon Islands, in 2010.

The Vangunu giant rat—the creature's common name—is presumed to live in the tree canopy where it feasts on fruits and nuts, as revealed by analysis of …