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What are your favourite rodents ?

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 5 Jul 2021.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Rodents are not exactly the most popular mammals for most people.

    However Zoo chatters are not your average person and I know there are many rodent admirers / enthusiasts on this forum.

    What are your favourite rodents species and why ?
     
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  2. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Maned rats for obvious reasons... ;)

    Otherwise, cloudrunners, chinchillas, jerboas, mole rats, bamboo rats (the tame Plzen specimens stole my heart), giant (flying) squirrels, spring hare, hutias, Hydromys...given that this is the biggest mammalian order, there's plenty to like. ;)
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2021
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comment @Batto !

    The maned rat is not really a suprise :p definitely a fascinating species and hopefully one that will have a place at WdG one day.

    Absolutely a fascinating order I totally agree.
     
  4. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    I dont really like anything that looks like a rat, so cloyd rat, gambian pouch rat etc.... they're out of my mind. Other rodents are simply too obscure to me.

    So my favourite are asian squirrels, and then capybaras and maras. I like the coloration of Asian squirrels, particularly Prevost's and Finlayson's, and then i like capybaras because of their gigantism and Japanese onsen lol.
     
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing @aardvark250 !

    Do you have a phobia of rats or why do you dislike them ?

    Yep there are most certainly a lot of obscure rodents out there.

    I agree about the beauty of squirrels they are a very charming and diverse group of rodents (sorry my bad) and very entertaining to watch.

    I'm not too fond of capybara probably because the gigantism doesn't really have much novelty as they are very common animals over here but I do love maras which are gorgeous looking animals.

    What is a Japanese onsen ? :confused:
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2021
  6. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I just love squirrels, all squirrels! :D If I had to pick a favourite species then it would have to be the Swinhoe's Striped as they're absolutely fantastic, with Prevost's and the giant squirrels coming up close behind. But yeah, squirrels are great, I even have a soft spot for those invasive b*stards that are the Eastern Greys...

    I do like rodents in general though, and outside of squirrels I like all sorts, from capybaras to pygmy mice. They're probably my second favourite order after Carnivora, and they can be the reason I visit a specific zoo for a specific lifer. I never thought I'd go to London to look for (and fail at) a rat but lo and behold that's exactly what I did last year! :rolleyes:
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comment @Brum !

    Great to hear that you appreciate rodents and enjoy seeing new species at zoos.

    The prevost and the swinhoe squirrels are beautiful looking species.

    There is something really engaging and endearing about squirrels isn't there ?

    I know that some people refer to them as "tree rats" but on the whole they are much more popular than rats and lack the maligned reputation.

    I wonder if it is because they lack the "naked" tail and are not closely associated with human dwellings / food raiding and disease transmission / attacks on humans.

    On that subject and what you've mentioned about the gray squirrel is really interesting and touches on an obstacle of Conservation of the red.

    I think that the cute appeal of the gray may be one of the reasons that erradication of this invasive in the UK (if indeed possible) would not prove to be popular with the majority of the general public.

    I think the red squirrel is a far more beautiful species but for the majority of the population of the UK it is out of sight and mind and never seen in the wild whereas the gray is familiar on a daily basis (which is exactly the same problem we face with our native marmosets and invasives here in this area of Brazil).
     
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  8. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    Easy question, the all mighty capybara. In general do I love all cavis. From hutias, to maras, to chinchillas. Some of the most underated animals in zoos in my opinion.
     
  9. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Like "Brum", I am particularly fond of squirrels; especially giant flying squirrels. I also find prehensile-tailed porcupines fascinating creatures.

    However my favourite rodent species is definitely the pacarana. This is a species I've rarely seen and, back in the 1980s, the pacarana in the old Nocturnal House was always one of the highlights of a visit to Bristol Zoo.
     
  10. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing @GiratinaIsGod !

    The capybara seems to be a firm favourite with a lot of people.

    Actually my significant other finds them adorable and in her hometown it is very common for herds of capybara to cross roads and end up stopping traffic.

    Personally I'm not so fond of capybara as I know they are the largest rodent but I find them a bit dull and boring and rather like the rodent equivalent of a cow chewing the cud in a meadow.

    Hutia on the other hand really do interest me from an evolutionary point of view and a Conservation perspective too.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2021
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing @Tim May !

    Ah so another squirrel fan :D

    I definitely find the flying squirrels to be the more interesting of the squirrels too.

    Where did you see the giant flying squirrel ?

    The prehensile tailed porcupine is an interesting one and I love the bizarre appearance they have and that the ones I have known in zoos are so fiesty.

    Interesting that your favourite is the pacarana and I have to say in many parts of Latin America people would also list it as their favourite but for an entirely different reason....

    The paca is commonly eaten and it's meat is widely considered a delicacy :eek:
     
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  12. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that without a doubt the Malagasy giant jumping rat is my favourite rodent as I am fascinated by their ecology and conservation and social behaviour.

    I also find them to be very striking and endearing looking animals and perhaps their plight in the wild adds massively to that appeal.

    Some other rodents that are also favourites would be :

    Mara- I find these rodents to look both beautiful and elegant and also chimaeric with their resemblance to deer and hares / rabbits and cavies / capybara.

    Chinchilla- Interesting from a Conservation perspective and I find these to be adorable creatures and so much so actually that me and my partner will be getting one fairly soon.

    Hazel dormouse - Beautiful looking small mammal and not very scientific of me but probably a favourite of mine due to Lewis Carroll' s "Alice in Wonderland".
     
    Last edited: 5 Jul 2021
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Lol :D they even look glum and dim witted when in the equivalent of capybara paradise.

    Is this capybara named "onsen" and kept by a zoo in Japan ?
     
  15. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    no. Onsen means "hot spring" in Japanese.
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see so it is an onsen loving capybara lol
     
  17. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    London Zoo had a long-lived red-and-white giant flying squirrel from 1964 until 1985.

    More recently, I've also seen the species at Wroclaw Zoo.
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Incredible !

    I had no idea they lived for so long !

    You must have seen it often right ?

    Was it kept within the Clore ?
     
  19. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I believe the London Zoo specimen holds the longevity record for the species.

    It was originally housed in the Children’s Zoo and subsequently moved to the Clore Pavilion.

    As regular visitor to the zoo, I saw it a number of times over the years; frustratingly, though, it was a very elusive creature that didn't show itself very often.
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Well it was a very ancient squirrel indeed when it finally passed away so I would imagine that it was very content with life and well cared for at the London Zoo.

    I bet the rare moments that it did show itself were a treat.

    Are the enclosures where it was held still in use today and if so what are their current occupants ?