Prairie Melomys

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Prairie Melomys
Family : Long-tailed mice (Muridae)
Subfamily : Old World Mice (Murinae)
Tribe : Hydromyini
Uromys group
Genre : Mosaic tail rats ( Melomys )
Type : Prairie Melomys
Scientific name
Melomys burtoni
( Ramsay , 1887)

Grassland Melomys ( Melomys burtoni ) is a species of the long-tailed mouse family native to Australia and New Guinea .


The grassland melomys weighs up to 55 g and has a head body length of 90 to 140 mm and a tail length of 100 to 150 mm. The fur is khaki, cinnamon or mud-colored on the top and a little lighter on the underside. Light spot patterns may appear in the neck area.


The grassland melomys lives in open grass steppes, in reed areas or on sugar cane plantations up to 2000 m altitude. He avoids dense vegetation.


The rodent feeds on grasses and their seeds, rarely also on insects. Since the animal is good at climbing, it is able to use sugar cane from root to tip. The gnawed plants often die from subsequent bacterial attack. In Queensland the damage runs into the millions.


The grassland melomys builds a spherical nest out of grass, which is attached to two to three strong blades of grass at a height of about 1 m. The female gives birth to two to three young, who open their eyes after seven to ten days and are weaned after six weeks. In the event of danger, for example a bush fire, the young bite into the teats of the fleeing mother animal and can thus be saved.

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