Did you know that we are still discovering new species?
Over a period of posts, I will go through a few new discoveries from 2014…
Four new species of Tuco-tuco (small rodent) has been discovered in Bolivia in 2014. The Tuco-tuco is named after the “tuc tuc” vocalisation they make. There were thought to be eight species of Tuco-tuco in Bolivia; but with these new discoveries there are now twelve species of this little rodent species in this area. There are around 65 species scattered throughout South America.
They are classified as Mammals, of the order Rodent, and the genus Ctenomys. They are a small burrowing rodent, with large front teeth. Their closest relative is thought to be the Degu.
The Tuco-tuco is a herbivore, primarily feeding on grass. As well as grazing; grass (and other vegetation) is collected, and stored in burrows.
The Tuco-tuco measures between 18-30cm long, and weighs less than half a kilogram! They are fairly sedentary by nature (couch-potatoes if it was you or me!); however some species are social, others are not. They are a diurnal species – meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend a lot of time above ground compared to most rodent species.