7 Oct 2015

'Hog-nosed rat' discovered in Indonesia

2:23 pm on 7 October 2015

Researchers working in Indonesia have discovered a new species of mammal called the hog-nosed rat, aptly named after its features.

The newly discovered hog-nosed rat.

The newly discovered hog-nosed rat. Photo: AFP

The creature was found in a remote mountainous area on the island of Sulawesi in central Indonesia, according to Australia's Museum Victoria whose scientists were involved.

The rat, whose scientific name is Hyorhinomys stuempkei, has features "never seen by science before", according to the museum in a statement released Tuesday.

The discovery was made by a team of scientists from Indonesia, Australia and the United States.

As well as its large, flat, pink nose, with forward-facing nostrils similar to that of a pig's, the creature has extremely large ears, a small mouth and long white front teeth, according to the museum.

Hog-nosed rat

Photo: AFP

In photos the rodent appears to be about the size of a normal rat.

"I am still amazed that we can walk into a forest and find a new species of mammal that is so obviously different from any species... that has ever been documented by science," said Kevin Rowe, a scientist from Museum Victoria who was involved in the research.

The mammal is carnivorous and probably feeds on such things as earthworms and beetle larvae.

The discovery was made in the north of Sulawesi, with the scientists guided into a mountainous and forested area by local villagers.