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LEXICON

 

 

Bamboo Rat

Any of the four species of rodents in the subfamily Rhizomyinae, which is made up of the Lesser Bamboo Rat (Cannomys badius), the Large Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys sumatrensis), the Chinese Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys sinensis), and the Hoary Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys pruinosus). They are found in eastern Asia, from the Indian Subcontinent, southern China and northern Myanmar, over Indochina and Thailand to the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra, varying in size from about 15 to 30 centimeters for the lesser bamboo rat, which grows a short tail of up to 7 centimeter, to the Large Bamboo Rat, which can grow to almost 50 centimeters in length and has a long tail of about 20 centimeter. These bulky, mole-like rodents live in wide-ranging burrows underground, from where they feed on the roots of plants, mostly of bamboo, though the Lesser Bamboo Rat also feeds on the roots of other vegetation, including those of agricultural plants and crops, and is hence considered a pest. In China, as well as in Vietnam, bamboo rats are caught and eaten as a food animal, especially by the hill tribe minorities. See also rat and Brown Rat.