UK
06/10/2015 14:47 BST | Updated 06/10/2015 14:59 BST

Hog-Nosed Shrew Rat Discovered By Australian Scientists Has Extra Long Pubic Hair

Scientists have discovered a new rat species with a distinctive quality: extra long pubic hair.

Hyorhinomys stuempkei - otherwise known as the hog-nosed shrew rat - were discovered by a team of researchers in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

The critters feature a wide variety of other strange features, which have never been seen before in one specimen. These include a snout, big ears and a tiny mouth.

new species of rat

The hog-nosed shrew rat

The newly discovered creature is so unique, not only is it a species, but it has been listed as an entirely new genus.

Dr Kevin Rowe, a researcher from Museum Victoria in Australia said in a statement: "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, or even genus, that has ever been documented by science."

He also commented on the oddities of the critter, including its long pubic hair. He said that the rat’s pubic hair was “curiously” long and may “serve some function” in successful mating.

SEE ALSO:

According to one source, the project on Sulawesi Island aims to understand the evolution and diversity of small mammals in the Indo-Australian area.

The rat measures up at around 45 centimetres (1.48 feet) in length, including the tail, and weighs about 250 grams (0.55 pounds).

The discovery was published in the Journal of Mammalogy.