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Meliratt

Lives on the island of Mauritius dodo (Raphus cucculatus) were among the first victims of human greed and consumer attitude towards nature. But their extinction was not the last step in the destruction of the fauna of the island as a people, and of introduced species of animals alien to the native fauna and flora. Man barely controlled settlement on the island of introduced species of flora and fauna, so when nature freed from his power, almost all Mauritian endemic species were squeezed newcomers and extinct for several hundred years.

But in these conditions, the island has not remained lifeless: alien species formed a new balanced ecosystem. And the island's isolation from the nearest land has led to the fact that among the Mauritian species there are many specialized forms, occupied all the possible ecological niches. One of these creatures inhabit the crowns of native trees of the Asteraceae family, feeding on their nectar. This honey small rat , tiny Mauritian small animal the size of a mouse, living in the forest canopy, and never descending to the ground.

This small rodent is perfectly adapted to climbing: all the paws armed with grasping claws. If necessary, a rat-chips may run, clung to the bottom branch, the same rate as the conventional method.it also knows how to make long jumps, increasing their distance due to the kind of device: on the sides of the body of rat-crumb grows thick fringe of stiff hairs sticking to the sides. It serves as a "parachute" facilitating jumping from branch to branch (it turns a kind of "micro-gveretsa" miniature constructive analogue of this monkey, extinct to Neocene). Tail honey small rat chips, the edges of the rim is covered with hairs that form a sort of pen. With the help of this rodent tail can change direction in flight, just dropping the selected branch. But the tail of this species is not prehensile. The main color of the wool - sandy-yellow, white throat and belly, and The flying fringe of hair - black. Along the muzzle, neck and entire back is a narrow black stripe. The hair on the tail of a grayish-white. Hands and feet are hairless, covered with grayish skin.

Specialty Power nectar also affected the appearance of the rodent. Muzzle honey small rat-chips thinner than that of its ancestors - the black rat (Rattus rattus). In connection with the nectar of power cutters that animal relatively weak, but the language is very long: it can be pulled out of his mouth half the length of the muzzle. Molars are greatly reduced: in each half of the jaw remains only one molar. This rodent is not able to crack hard seeds, so does not compete with other types of wood.

Honey small rat held clans related by kinship in the male line, and numbering up to two dozen adult animals. The head of the clan - an adult male. These rodents accurately distinguish friends and foes by scent, and aggressive toward relatives of the other clans. Only female-alien can count on the favor of the clan, if it is, unmarried males. When the male finds the female "interesting", he just sprays her urine and rubs her legs on the female hair. So it becomes "your" scent, and the clan takes it. Males from foreign clans expelled mercilessly, and often solitary animal, not had time to leave the territory of the clan, is zakusano death.

Honey small rat crumbs has a relatively extensive for such small creatures territory, including several different types of fodder trees that bloom, one after another, throughout the year. Animals mark territory with urine and secretions of the musk gland, located in the underarm area. They are particularly willing to feed on the plant family Asteraceae, but also visited the plants of other botanical families. To meet the demand for protein food, these animals eat small soft-bodied insects (aphids, and termites).

From the enemies of this rodent is protected as a group, at the same time biting and scratching the enemy. But if the enemy is strong and big, the clan flees. The animals make gliding jumps to the neighboring trees, overcoming the distance, beyond the reach of predators. This view - daytime animal conducting the night in shelters. Tenacious legs needed the rodent from the very first minutes of life: female cubs are at currently. Newborn cubs in this species is much more developed than in rats, which occurred on this type. They just hang in the female nipples, holding his paws for her wool, like some small marsupial pouch with underdeveloped. In connection with this feature of the breeding animals are not satisfied with the permanent lair, and can move through the forest as the flowering of different host plants. But in connection with the same feature of the fertility they limited to just two or three cubs. They grow quickly, and in the months of age can already move from branch to branch as adults, and the first offspring of a young female is already at the age of three months.

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