“I started to question if it really was a separate species, or if people were just calling regular black rats ‘vika,’” said Lavery. Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery heard rumors of a giant, possum-like rat that lived in trees and cracked open coconuts with its teeth on his first trip to the Solomon Islands in 2010.

When compared to the average rat you might see in the city -- which weighs less than half a pound -- it's no wonder vika is considered a giant rat. It is located between New Georgia and Nggatokae Island.

It's more than four times the size of an average rat and weighs more than a kilogram. The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae. A 9-meter (30-foot) tree was cut down, and a giant rat that was apparently living in the tree came crashing down with it. To the north and east of the island is Marovo Lagoon. Part of what made the search so difficult was the rat’s tree-dwelling lifestyle. Dubbed the Vangunu giant rat (or Uromys vika), the new species measures about 46 cm (1.5 ft) from nose to tail, and can weigh up to 1 kg (2.2 lb) – almost three times the size of a common brown rat. Lavery knew giant rats exist in the Solomons - but of the few species to have been documented, some had not been seen since the 19th century.

The island is home to the Vanganu Giant Rat, discovered in 2015, who is considered critically endangered, due to the small amount of forest habitat (about 80 km2) remaining on the island and ongoing logging. 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 … Abstract. vangunu giant rat Scientists didn’t run screaming from this critter, even though it’s four times the size of a city rodent! We describe the first new rodent species from Solomon Islands in more than 80 years. But years of searching didn’t turn up any of the giant rats. The island has an area of 509 square kilometres (197 sq mi).
Vangunu is an island, part of the New Georgia Islands in the Solomon Islands.

Why was the existence of the Vangunu giant rat, or vika, not a complete surprise to scientists? A new species of giant tree rat has been found on Vangunu Island, part of the Soloman islands; Researchers were only able to locate one (CNN) After years of … They said Vika lived in the trees, was a bit smaller than a possum, and was so strong it could chew through thick-shelled ngali nuts. The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae. Now the Vangunu Giant Rat is no longer legend, but scientific fact.

The PhD student was sitting around a fire with village elders on the island of Vangunu, in the thick-forested caldera of an ancient volcano. After years of searching and a race against deforestation destroying the rat’s would-be home, Lavery, along with John Vendi and Hikuna Judge, finally found it.

Vangunu is a volcanic island, dominated by an inactive Pleistocene stratovolcano with a height of 1082 meters (3,550 ft), whose caldera slopes are now covered with thick jungle forest. In fact, the Vangunu giant rat, or the Uromys vika, as scientists call it, is super-duper rare. (Neither specimen survived the fall.)

The rat was discovered in the island of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands in 2015,, after years of searching based on local stories, and described in 2017. Deep in the forests of Vangunu in the Solomon Islands lives a rat like no other you've likely ever seen.

Hikuna Judge, a ranger with the Zaira Resource Management Area on Vangunu and the paper's second author, sent the rat on to Lavery, who at the time was at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, Australia. ... on Vangunu, where the rat lives."

This new giant rat is known from a single specimen captured in a commercially felled Dillenia salomonensis tree on Vangunu Island. The Vangunu giant rat (Uromys vika), locally known as the vika, is a giant arboreal species of rodent in the family Muridae. When compared to the average rat you might see in the city -- which weighs less than half a pound -- it's no wonder vika is considered a giant rat.
Mammalogist Tyrone Lavery heard rumors of a giant, possum-like rat that lived in trees and cracked open coconuts with its teeth on his first trip to the Solomon Islands in 2010.