Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Rodentia > Diatomyidae > Laonastes > Laonastes aenigmamus

Laonastes aenigmamus (Laotian rock rat)

Wikipedia Abstract

The Laotian rock rat or kha-nyou (Laonastes aenigmamus), sometimes called the "rat-squirrel", is a rodent species of the Khammouan region of Laos. The species was first described in a 2005 article by Paulina Jenkins and coauthors, who considered the animal to be so distinct from all living rodents, they placed it in a new family, Laonastidae. It is in the monotypic genus Laonastes. In 2006, the classification of the Laotian rock rat was disputed by Mary Dawson and coauthors.
View Wikipedia Record: Laonastes aenigmamus

Endangered Species

Status: Endangered
View IUCN Record: Laonastes aenigmamus

EDGE Analysis

The kha-nyou was discovered by scientists visiting a market in Lao PDR in 2005. It was subsequently shown to be a living fossil – the sole surviving member of an ancient group of rodents that was previously considered to have gone extinct some 11 million years ago. The kha-nyou is extremely distinct from all other mammal species, having separated from its closest living relatives, the gundis of Africa, 44 million years ago. It resembles a cross between a squirrel and a large rat, with its elongated head, small, rounded ears and bushy tail. Known only from an area of limestone karst in Khammouan Province in Lao PDR, the species is thought to be under pressure from hunting practices and possibly habitat degradation resulting from logging and the collection of firewood.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 44
EDGE Score: 5.89
View EDGE Record: Laonastes aenigmamus

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Khammouane Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation National Biodiversity Conservation Area VI 558864 Laos  

Range Map

Southern Asia;



Species recognized by , 2011-09-22, ITIS Global: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System in Catalog of Life 2011
Endangered Status provided by IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2 <> Downloaded on 11 April 2013.
Protected Areas provided by Le Saout, S., Hoffmann, M., Shi, Y., Hughes, A., Bernard, C., Brooks, T.M., Bertzky, B., Butchart, S.H.M., Stuart, S.N., Badman, T. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. (2013) Protected areas and effective biodiversity conservation. Science, 342, 803–805
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
EDGE analysis provided by EDGE of Existence programme, Zoological Society of London
Range map provided by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Conservation International & NatureServe.
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access