Animals / Mammal Facts / Moonrat - Night Stinker

Moonrat - Night Stinker


moonrat face beady eye

 

Native to Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo and Myanmar; the moonrat is a species of mammal that has gained fame for a less than flattering reason: it is known for its extremely pungent smell, which has a much higher ammonia content than that of most other mammals. Although they have “rat” in their name and appear rodent-like, they are not that closely related to rodents. The “moon” part or their name probably comes from their mostly white, nighttime appearance. With their beady eyes, they probably aren't going to win any beauty contests.

 

 

moonrat white grubbing

 

Moonrats are around 13-16 inches (320-400 millimeters) long and weigh up to about 2.2 pounds (1 kg). They are nocturnal, sleeping away the day and hunting and feeding at night; surviving on worms, insects, crabs, frogs, fish, fruit, and any other small invertebrate that they can find in moist areas.

 

hairy white moonrat

 

Moonrats are terrestrial, living in burrows, roots and logs. They prefer to inhabit swamp lands and other moist areas where their preferred food source can be found. These mammals are territorial and solitary, only choosing not to be alone when it is time to mate. In order to mark territory, the moonrat will release a stronger secretion at the edge of the area they inhabit. They will also hiss at predators or rivals they come across in their area. They generally live for up to five years and are kept as pets in some parts of the world. Hopefully, pet owners have a way of minimizing the stinky odor. One tribe in Borneo is known to have used and traded them for meat as well.

 

moonrat grey

 

 

 

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