Body shape and life style of the extinct rodent Canariomys bravoi (Mammalia, Murinae) from Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)

Jacques MICHAUX, Lionel HAUTIER, Rainer HUTTERER, Renaud LEBRUN, Franck GUY & Francisco GARCÍA-TALAVERA

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 11 (7) - Pages 485-494

Published on 31 October 2012

A three-dimensional reconstruction of the skeleton of the giant rat of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) Canariomys bravoi was obtained by computerized microtomography. Body size, body mass, and body shape were estimated, and limb morphofunctional indices used to infer the style of life of this recently extinct rat. A sample of recent Murinae, including the Philippines endemic giant cloud rat Phloeomys cumingi, was used for comparison. It appears that C. bravoi differed from most continental rats by its relatively large size, body proportions, and tail length. Among its distinctive features, claws almost similarly developed on fore and hind limbs, and feet longer than hands evoke an intermediate body shape between rats and arboreal murines like Phloeomys. C. bravoi was a strong and powerfully muscled rat able to move on different substrates from floor to trees, and probably had digging skills.


Microtomography, Ecomorphology, Locomotion, Evolution, Insularity, Canary Islands

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