Remains of a large-bodied species of endemic nesomyid rodent, Macrotarsomys petteri Goodman and Soarimalala, 2005, were identified from subfossil deposits recovered from Andrahomana Cave in extreme southeastern Madagascar. This recently described extant species was previously only known from a single specimen collected at a site about 450 km northwest of Andrahomana and with distinctly different forest habitat than currently found in the vicinity of the cave. Radiocarbon dating of remains of M. petteri from the cave site indicates that it persisted in the region subsequent to human settlement. Previous reports of a large member of Macrotarsomys from other Quaternary sites in southern Madagascar are almost certainly of M. petteri. It is proposed that this species once had a broad distribution across the southern portion of the island during a more mesic period and subsequent aridification of the region has led to its local extirpation across most of its former range.
Rodent, Nesomyidae, Macrotarsomys, Holocene, Madagascar