The Bulldog rat - The Mysterious, Extinct Creature of the Islands

Bulldog ratThe Bulldog rat (Rattus nativitatis) is an extinct species that once lived in the Indian Ocean area of Christmas Island. When the Bulldog rat was alive and thriving in the area, they were mostly found in the higher hills and forests of the area. They would have lived in smaller colonies in burrows among the roots of trees, or many times their home would be under hollow logs. Since bulldog rats were nocturnal, sunlight may make them seemed half dazed as it would almost blind the creature, which was why they burrowed deep into the ground.

The Bulldog rat was around 17 inches long or about 50 centimeters. The Bulldog rat had about a 2 centimeter thick layer of fat on their back. The weight of the creature is not really known, as they have been extinct for quite some time. However, most people theorize that they are near the size of rats that are found now.

The Bulldog rat is suspected to have become extinct in the time frame of 1901 to 1908. There are debates on the exact date. However, most researchers are in agreement that the extinction of this creature came from a disease that was spread to it by the black rats. These rats were infected by what the sailors brought with them. All though, it wasn't intentional, it did lead to the death of this species.
These rats were first introduced to the island in 1887.

Given that there is such little information on the species, no one really knows the lifestyle of the creature, thus what they would have been known for is still a mystery. The diet of the Bulldog rat would have consisted of whatever it could find in the wilderness. It would be safe to assume that small insects and plants would have been in supply for these creatures. In fact, the island was thought to have been completely absent of life until new data surfaced which shows exactly why there is not an abundance of information to be found on the Bulldog rat.

The little research that is known about animals on this particular island point that there are not that many predators living there. In fact, during their lifespan, there has only been three other species of animals documented to be found there. Therefore, it would seem that predators of the Bulldog rat would be nonexistent.

Keywords: tail , black

The Bulldog rat is listed as Extinct (EX), there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the bulldog rat
A young / baby of a bulldog rat is called a 'kitten, nestling, pinkie or pup'. The females are called 'doe' and males 'buck'. A bulldog rat group is called a 'colony, horde, pack, plague or swarm'.

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