Argentina: discovered new species of rodent and call it “Kirchner”

Researchers identified in the province of Chubut a new species of mammal, a rodent which they called “tympanoctomys kirchnerorum” in tribute to the late Argentine president Néstor Kirchner.

This Patagonian rat was identified by scientists and veterinarians from the National Patagonian Center (Cenpat -spanish) in the town of Los Adobes, in the central plateau of Chubut.

“The detection itself occurred in 2005. But for a long time thought it was another species that live widely in other parts of the country,” said Ulysses Pardiñas, one of the researchers.

After several years of study, experts were able to determine that it is “a new, unique species,” said Pardiñas.

The experts in charge of the scientific discovery decided to impose this new species name to “tympanoctomys kirchnerorum“, in tribute to the late former president Néstor Kirchner of Argentina (2003-2007) and his wife and successor, current President Cristina Kirchner.

“The idea of ​​this tribute is the result of the governments of both presidents were characterized by an active policy of promoting science, repatriation of scientists, and especially the creation of a Ministry of Science, Technology Productive Innovation “said Paul Teta, another member of the research group.

The Patagonian rat is related to other rodents, it inhabits extreme environments such as deserts and salt flats. Individuals of this species have developed different adaptations to live in these climates. “One of them is that they have a great ear, which is an adaptation antipredatory” explained the specialist.

Moreover, They explained, these rodents “eat plants that have a high salt content, which is a resource that is always available, but also imposes some conditions, because the high salt content is not good for anyone”.

“What these animals is to peel the leaves of plants that consume with bristles they have before its teeth and live in caves complex with several levels that allow them to modulate the temperature extremes”, they said.

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