Megaoryzomys curioi (Niethammer, 1964)

Galapágos giant rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: Late Quaternary; 1600 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Santa Cruz, Galapágos Islands


Biology & Ecology




VCCDRS 54866
VCCDRS 55281

For full details, see: and






Original scientific description:

Niethammer, J. (1964). Contribution a la connaissance des mammiferes terrestres de l'ile Indefatigable (=Santa Cruz), Galapagos. Résultats de l'expedition Allemagne aux Galapagos 1962/63. Mammalia, 28:593-606.


Other references:

Alcover, Josep Antoni et al. (1998). Mammal Species of the World: Additional Data on Insular Mammals. American Museum Novitates 3248, 29 pp., 1 table.

Ali, J. R., and Fritz, U. (2021). Origins of Galápagos’ land-locked vertebrates: what, whence, when, how? Biol J Linn Soc 134, 261–284. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/blab085

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Harris, D.B. (2006) Introduced black rats and endemic Galapagos rice rats: competition, coexistence and conservation. A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Linacre College, Oxford.

Hutterer, Rainer and Oromi, P. (1993). La rata gigante de la Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos: Algunos datos y problemas. Resultados Cientificos del Proyecto Galapagos, Patrimonio de la Humanidad, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Tenerife 4: 63-76.

Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Milstead, B., Márquez, C., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P., Llerena, A., et al. (2007) Galapagos vertebrates: endangered status and conservation actions. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 104–110.

Jiménez-Uzcátegui, Gustavo and Snell, Howard L. (2014). CDF Checklist of Galapagos Mammals - FCD Lista de especies de Mamíferos Galápagos. In: Bungartz, F., Herrera, H., Jaramillo, P., Tirado, N., Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G., Ruiz, D., Guézou, A. & Ziemmeck, F. (eds.). Charles Darwin Foundation Galapagos Species Checklist - Lista de Especies de Galápagos de la Fundación Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin Foundation / Fundación Charles Darwin, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos: Last updated: 24 Jan 2014

Musser, G.G. and Carleton, M.D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D.E. Wilson and D.A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Ronez, Christophe et al. (2021). Tribal allocation and biogeographical significance of one of the largest sigmodontine rodent, the extinct Galápagos Megaoryzomys (Cricetidae). Historical Biology 33(9): 1920-1932.

Snell, H.L., Tye, A., Causton, C.E. & Bensted-Smith, R. (1999) Estado y amenazas de la biodiversidad terretre de Galápagos. Visión para la biodiversidad de las islas Galápagos. Fundación Charles Darwin para las islas Galápagos y WWF. Puerto Ayora, Galápagos.

Steadman, David W. and Ray, C. E. (1982). The Relationships of Megaoryzomys curioi, an Extinct Cricetine Rodent (Muroidea: Muridae) from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology, 51: 23 pages, 11 figures.

Steadman, David W., Stafford, Thomas W. Jnr., Donahue, Douglas J. and Jull, A. J. Timothy. (1991). Chronology of Holocene vertebrate extinction in the Galápagos Islands. Quaternary Research 36(1): 126-133.

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]

Vargas, Pablo. (2023). Exploring ‘endangered living fossils’ (ELFs) among monotypic genera of plants and animals of the world. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11: 1100503.

Weksler, M. and Tirira, D. (2008). Megaoryzomys curioi. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 12 September 2011.

Weksler, M. and Tirira, D. G. (2019). Megaoryzomys curioi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019: e.T136657A22330270. Downloaded on 26 June 2021.

Wilson, D.E. & Reeder, D.M. 2005 Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Third edition. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press.


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