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the singing gliding rat

the Global cataclysms that occurred at the end of the Holocene - to the early Neocene, carried away into oblivion of many species and families of animals, known in historical times. The surviving species started to develop new ecological niches, and have succeeded most unpretentious, resistant and low-specialized species. Rats are one of the groups of animals having similar qualities. In the Philippine archipelago, one of the most successful species has been the widely common Everett rat (Rattus everetti). its descendants have replaced many species that are either disappeared or lost ground, unable to withstand the competition. Part of the evolutionary lines that followed the descendants of this type, quickly cut short as a result of competition with other animals Rupp, but in the forests of the archipelago live in Neocene some specialized species, which are the fruits of evolutionary experiments of early Neocene. One of them - the singing gliding rat , partly took the place of the extinct flying lemur.

This creature has a body length of about 20-25 cm, not counting the tail. Despite the relatively large size of this rodent is different slight physique and can make gliding jumps from tree to tree. its membrane allows it to glide ; gliding from tree to tree, the animal looks like a small kite. The animal has relatively long tail (length 15-17 cm) with a brush on the end of that helps when making maneuvers in the air. It has a light-brown color with dark speckles back, and lighter belly. Sitting on the bark of the animal is difficult to see through the camouflage color. On the neck there throat pouch with expandable walls, which is a protuberance of the trachea; in females it covers a pale yellow hair, and the males - saffron-red. The muzzle of the animal

preserves typical rodent appearance, with slightly smaller ears and snout slightly longer and thinner than that of a normal rat. Eyes relatively large; They are aimed not only at hand, but also forward, providing a partial binocular vision. Feet of wood animal armed with long prehensile fingers with hooked claws on their hind legs longer than the fingers. Animal feel very confident on the trunks and branches of trees, and very reluctantly down to the ground, where long fingers only hinder. But these rats deftly climb the thin branches and jumps from tree to tree.

it feeds on fruit, eggs of birds and invertebrates. they are diurnal and live in large colonies, the number of which reaches up to a couple hundred.

The throat of the animal bag is used for communication - these rats emit melodious trill, very similar to the song of birds (hence the name); males also use it for courtship displays. The sound of these animals are very diverse: it trills of different frequencies and solitary cries. Pets have a tendency to imitate sounds, and in a way adopt and reproduce the sounds of living in the neighborhood birds and insects.

they have a Very impressive look of migration when colonies numbering hundreds of animals, making chirping, moved to the top of the forest canopy, covering the distance in one leap between trees. When this air is simultaneously several tens of animals. Another application of the neck of the bag - as a shock absorber when it swells when landing on a tree, and can mitigate an unsuccessful landing. The long prehensile tail is used as a rudder during the planning, but the animal also uses it as a tether during power - rodent hangs on it upside down, clinging to the tail of the tip of a thin branch. At night, these rodents hiding in tree hollows and nests, woven from the branches. One of the most dangerous enemies of this species are owls.

The breeding season is usually every four months, but the biological cycles in different individuals do not match, and the colony is always a female is ready to breed. Most males arrange near ready to mate females duel face off and pushed throat pouch, figuring their right to mate first. Usually the female time to mate several males, but it fertilizes only one of them. Two months later, they are born one or two cubs. But the low fertility is compensated by the development of cubs: they are covered with hair, and immediately able to cling to the skin of the mother. They spend the first time, tenaciously holding on to the back of the mother, but sometimes while jumping cubs are broken and perish. The high degree of calves allowed these rats refuse device permanent nests and colonies easier to move to new places, rich food. At the age of 30 days the young animals begin to live an independent life, and the female after a short recovery period is ready to mate again. The cubs reach maturity in six months. Lifespan is five to seven years.

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