JOE B. BLOSSOM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOE B. BLOSSOM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Giant pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus) in a store room. This rodent gets its name from the storage pouches it has inside each cheek which it fills with food. The pouch rat is among the largest of the Murid rodents (mice and rats) and can reach 32-43 centimetres from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail. This rat dwells in the forests and thickets of Senegal to Central Sudan. The pouch rat is generally nocturnal, but may forage during the day when it behave almost blindly, relying heavily on its keen nose and hearing to get around. Its sense of smell has led to it being used to detect the presence of TB in saliva samples and to sniff out landmines.
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