Papagomys theodorverhoeveni Musser, 1981:95

Verhoeven’s giant tree rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: Holocene


Although only known from fossils, this species may still be extant.



Flores, Indonesia


Biology & Ecology




Suyanto and Watts (2002) reported a skull of this species excavated in 1974 (MZB 12716), and concluded that the species must be recent. However, (Zijlstra and Hoek Osetnde, 2008) persuasively argued that this specimen was incorrectly diagnosed, and is in fact P. armandvillei (Jentink, 1892).






Original scientific description:

Musser, Guy Graham. (1981). The giant rat of Flores and its relatives east of Borneo and Bali. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 169(2): 67-176.


Other references:

Hooijer, D. A. (1957). Three new giant prehistoric rats from Flores, Lesser Sunda Islands. Zoologische Mededelingen 35: 299-314.

Elisa Locatelli, Rokus Awe Due, Gert D. van den Bergh and Lars W. van den Hoek Ostende. (2012). Pleistocene survivors and Holocene extinctions: The giant rats from Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia). Quaternary International 281: 47-57.

Suyanto, A. and Watts, C. H.S. (2002). Verhoeven’s giant rat of Flores, Indonesia (Papagomys theodorverhoeveni Musser, 1981; Muridae) is a modern species. Treubia 32: 87-93.

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]

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.

Zijlstra, J. S. and Hoek Ostende, van den L. W. (2008). Verhoeven’s giant rat of Flores (Papagomys theodorverhoeveni, Muridae) extinct after all? Contributions to Zoology 77(1): 25-31.


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