Its not very often that we get a picture of a mamal and we say "what is that"?
Recently we had such an experience when we came across photographs of a bamboo rat. Whilst they are not uncommon, little is in fact is known about them or documented. Saying that, they are well known amongst rural communities as a food source because rural folk can easily identify them by the gnawing sounds of them eating in bamboo growths at night and easily capture them. But this was my first time ever seeing pictures of one and they are a treat to the eye, even though the photographs are not of a high calibre or quality.
This is a Hoary bamboo rat (Rhizomys pruinosus), a species of rodent in the Spalacidae family that is found in Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. Accoording to Wikipedia "the hoary bamboo rat is nocturnal and lives solitarily in a simple burrow. This has a single entrance marked by a mound, an escape exit, a nest chamber and latrine chamber. The nest is lined with dried grasses and shreds of bamboo. The bamboo rat emerges at night to forage for plant material, mostly feeding on the stems and roots of bamboos and beard grass."
Indeed I have found it hard to find any significant data on the animal but my well thumbed and beloved copy of "Large Mammals of Thailand" (John W. K. Parr) notes that it can be found all over Thailand, normally at high elevations in forest areas with bamboo thickets (or in areas of polypogon grasses), as this one was photographed. Even the Rhizomys pruinosus page on the IUCN red list has no significant insights into the animal.
What a cool little critter.