(Photo : Reuters)
A species of rat was discovered in Indonesia, notable for having no teeth.
Found in a mountain area in Indonesia's Sulawesi Island, the rat has been named Paucidentomys vermidax, which means "few-toothed rat" and "worm eater," according to the British journal Biology Letters.
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The rodent joins another 2,200 known species of rat that are known not to have teeth and uses its bicuspid upper incisors.
The Paucidentomys vermidax was found to only eat earthworms. According to the researchers, the rat would slice the worms open with its icisors before spitting it out and then slurp the remains.
The study is considered important as it shows how rodents evolve in order to adapt in their environment instead of a traditional rat that would bit and chew its food.
According to the Associated Press, the Melbourne's Museum Victoria's Senior Curator of Mammals Kevin Rowe said, "What defines rodents is their capacity to gnaw with their ever-growing incisors, which are worn down to form chisels. It's a remarkable evolution that a trait that's been so successful [and] has allowed rodents to chew into everything from seeds to felling trees to eating our garbage and chewing their way into our house, this species has given up on that capacity in the pursuit of its lifestyle, which appears to include eating earthworms."
Rowe is also a co-author of the study.