Hoary bamboo rat

Its not very often that we get a picture of a mamal and we say "what is that"?

The hoary bamboo rat (Rhizomys pruinosus)

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."

The hoary bamboo rat (Rhizomys pruinosus)

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.

The hoary bamboo rat (Rhizomys pruinosus)

What a cool little critter.


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onflipflops's Avatar
onflipflops replied the topic: #2725 04 Mar 2015 12:05
Cool! Never seen anything like it.
Looks like a baby beaver, haha.
Cute rufous cheeks.

Nice that even after the cams have been out in the forest for many months, you still 'discover' new animals.
Even despite that you have already multiple times captured charismatic animals that are likely occuring in much lower numbers.
Paul T's Avatar
Paul T replied the topic: #2727 04 Mar 2015 13:31
It is cool isn't it. I am starting to put together a post on some other "rats" that we have encountered, a very kind Thai scientist is helping me with some IDs at the moment. They really make one rethink our pre-conceived notions of a rat.
rushenb's Avatar
rushenb replied the topic: #2728 04 Mar 2015 16:58
Sweet!.. :)

Where did you take this photo? Kaeng Krachan?

"Each species is a masterpiece, a creation assembled with extreme care and genius." > Edward O. Wilson

"An understanding of the Natural World and whats in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment." > Sir David Attenborough

“Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you’ll find it there.” > Robb Sagendorph


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