STUDY: Researchers Found 2 New Mouse Species in Philippine Mountains

The Philippine is home to great and vast lands of greenery and vegetation. This is why a lot of farm animals are inevitable—like frogs, ants, farm snakes, and mice. Just yesterday,  researchers were able to discover another addition in the mouse species that we know of.

Doctors and Researchers Found 2 New Mouse Species in Luzon
This image was taken from Velizar Simeonovski of the Field Musem | New species of worm-eating rodents were discovered in the mountains of Luzon. They were described on June 6, 2019. The Rhynchomys Labo on the (right) and the Rhynchomys Mingan on the (left)

Last June 7th, 2019, Friday, researchers found 2 new mouse species here in the rocky and green mountains of the Philippines. This was according to the Journal of Mammalogy in their newly published paper.

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What were the new mouse species?

As per the published journal, the new mouse species were named Rhynchomys mingan and Rhynchomys labo. They were discovered in two (2) different locations and the name is actually derived from the mountain where they were found.

Rhynchomys Labo was found and discovered in Camarines Sur in Mt. Labo while Rhynchomys Mingan was unearthed on Mt. Mingan in Aurora. Yes, two new mouse species were found in the Philippine mountains and even us aren’t able to believe it! As per the researchers, these two rodents are not found existing anywhere else in the world but in the mountains of Luzon.

The two species, when found, were published with the help of author Eric Rickart with his co-author Larry Heaney; it was done and written in the Journal of Mammalogy. Professor Philip Alviola and late University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB) Professor Danila Balete were among the people who helped with the study.

The discovery was a collective effort from the Natural History Musem of Utah, Lousiana State University, the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB), the Field Museum, and the University of Kansas.

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What did the new species of mice look like?

Rickart, the author of the study and the discovery, said that the two species contained snouts that resembled that of “tweezer-like beaks.” In addition to that, it was said that the action they do is that they go and “hop like small kangaroos.” Some people might think that what they look like and what their actions are are peculiar but according to the researchers, it’s actually just normal.

Dr. Heaney, the co-author of the journal, said that the rodents they found were rather “interestingly cute and docile.” He even said that holding them were like “holding and playing with a plush toy.”

UPLB Museum of Natural History curator of small mammals Philipp Alviola said that the eating habits of the newfound rodents was that of a hungry kid that is eating and playing with spaghetti.

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In an interview with the UPLB newsletter, Alviola described the action of these rodents eating as the classic Bella Notte scene.

Have you seen the classic Bella Notte scene in ‘Lady and the Tramp’ when they ate spaghetti? Think of something like that, but instead of the rodents sucking up the spaghetti, they are slurping on earthworms.”

In the paper, they were saying that the species of the Rhynchomys are usually found in the places where they saw and discovered the 2 new mouse species.

ll species of Rhynchomys are restricted to high-elevation, montane, and mossy forest habitats, separated by intervening lowlands. These discoveries highlight the importance of isolated highland areas in the historical diversification of Southeast Asian murines, and as current centers of endemism.”

As you can see in their claims, they really value nature and the fact that they’re really trying to preserve it. Why? Because there are thousands of more undefined and unknown species lurking; researchers and Scientists hope to discover more in the near future.

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This is why the researchers gave emphasis on the protection of the country’s forestry during a press release. They promoted the protection and the preservation of the country’s forestries.

The two new rodents are examples of the generally poorly known but incredible biodiversity of the Philippines, which boasts more unique species of mammals per square mile than anywhere else on Earth.”

What do you think of the new discovery made by researchers here on the Philippines? Do you think that the new 2 mouse species really looked like mice and not any other type of rodent?



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