back to article Explorers unearth cat-sized rat

A BBC camera crew backed by biologists has identified a new species of giant rat. The massive rodent has been discovered living exclusively inside the crater of an extinct Papua New Guinea volcano. The team first spotted the beast on footage from an infrared camera trap inside the crater of Mount Bosavi, in the country's …


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  1. Stef 4


    Forget the cat sized rat. I want a rat sized cat. And I don't mean one of those cat sized rat sized cats. I already have one of those. It is called a cat.

  2. Martin Lyne


    Wasn't this story from several months ago, I'm sure I even read it here..

  3. Hermes (nine inch) Conran

    Rodents of unfeasible size?

    Either an early mission in Oblivion or the swamps of doom in the princess bride!

  4. Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--"

    Clearly a Giant Rat of Sumatra

    But that is a tale for which the world is not yet ready.

  5. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!


    I just showed that article to my cats. They won't go outside now, just in case, unless the dog is with them.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    May I be the first to...

    Welcome our new (Ratty) overlords (while carefully tucking my trousers legs in my socks)...

  7. Pete mcQuail

    Just in time

    to replace most of the current inhabitants of the Palace of Westminister.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I, for one...

    Will be the first to shoot anyone making lamentably predictable comments about furry, cat-sized overlords.

  9. Mahou Saru

    Sooo cute

    and looks quite tasty too!

  10. Andrew Moore

    I beleive...

    ...that Stephen Fry is narrating the series- It's called "First Chance to See"

  11. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    I for one... know the rest.

  12. Marvin the Martian

    Cat sized at 1.5kg?

    Possibly a south-asian cat, but western cats range 5--8kg (or more for the criminally obese).

  13. Dale Richards
    Thumb Up

    Nice rat.


  14. Anonymous Coward


    ...get the Horse and Hounds boys, we've found something to hunt!

  15. Andrew Beresford

    It's not a rat

    It's a Siberian Hamster.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Don't bring it back!!!

    Does anybody remember James Herberts' The Rats trilogy? Personally I do not want to be eaten!

  17. Dayjo
    IT Angle

    Rodents of Unusual Size?

    I don't think they exist.

    *rat dives out from a tree*

  18. 4a$$Monkey

    You F#@&ing catch it!

    Did they try to give it a fruit pastille? [Probably NSFW]

    Badgers because its not a F#@&ing rat

  19. Andrew Bush

    Any day now...

    ... the year of the Diamond Dogs. Cue guitar riff.

    Fleas the size of rats sucking on rats the size of cats, that is.

  20. Richard Scratcher

    @Stef 4

    You can't have a rat-sized cat (more's the pity) because, unlike a cat-sized rat, it would have nothing to feed on. You'd also need a 'roach-sized rat for your rat-sized cat to hunt as prey.

    Or maybe a moth-sized bird...

    Of course you'd only need a rat-sized cat-door, which would cut down on draughts...

  21. Anonymous Coward


    But my cat is the size of a dog. So is this a dog sized rat?

    The big rat would make a great pet. Can you imagine the screams when you take it for a walk?

    I welcome our new cat sized dog-rat overlords.

  22. thefutureboy

    It's an R.O.U.S.

    Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?

    Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

    [Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him]

    (Thanks to

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rename it

    The name, "Bosavi Woolly Rat" does not roll off the the tongue so easily. May I suggest calling it a "gordon brown". Much easier.

  24. P Wadhams


    Is it the case that explorers have at last found Sherlock Holmes's Giant Rat of Sumatra, "a story for which the world is not yet ready"?

  25. Nebulo

    If ...

    ... they grow to that size in the backwoods of Papua NG, God help us all when they get near the bins round here ...

  26. Jeff Power

    I for one...

    From the BBC article: "The rat, _which has no fear of humans_..." (emphasis added)


  27. Garve Scott-Lodge

    I love the BBC but....

    am I the only one getting utterly sick of them inventing news stories to promote their own programmes? This was on the morning TV news and BBC Radio Scotland radio news today, and now I find even The Reg falls for it!

  28. Anonymous Coward

    re: rename it

    I was thinking how well the "jacqui brown" rolled off the tongue.

    penguins are definitely cuter.

  29. Cameron Colley

    But they're are loads in the Quatermaster's stores.

    Seriously, though, I swear I have seen rats approaching that size in the North of England.

    @Richard Scratcher: So what do Yorkshire Terriers, which can be rat-sized, hunt in the wild?

  30. Wile E. Veteran

    Reminds me of...

    the 1960's Broadway musical "Golden Boy" in which a boxer who has made it big goes back and visits the neighborhood in Harlem where he grew up. The locals are unimpressed with his furs and jewels and taunt him with lines like:

    "Forget your sable, mink and ermine! We've got 50 kinds of vermin!"

    and the most pertinent:

    "This neighborhood is classy, we've got rats as big as Lassie!"

    Yeah, I'm that old. Better get my coat.

  31. exit...quit...bye...quitbye.ctrl-C..ctrlX.ctrl-alt-X...aarrrr*slam*

    So the Merkins actually were right:

    So the Merkins actually were right:

    You really need a FN FAL for vermin control.

    My apologies to our transatlantic friends for making fun of them.

  32. Bit Brain
    Thumb Up

    As someone who keeps pet rats…

    All I can say is…


  33. langers

    34 Year old mystery

    Ah! So that is what it was. In 1974, whilst a surveyor in the Australian army. I spent 10 days on Mt Bosavi on a mapping project. A large grey rat like animal showed absolutely no fear of us and adopted us I think we even named it "Ben". We hand fed it and share our army rations with it. When we asked the Papuans who lived at the base of the mountain about it, they knew all about the species and said it was "gutpela kai kai (food)!

  34. Pete 8


    I thought this was a political article.

  35. Mike Flugennock

    They had to go all the way to New Guinea... find a rat the size of a cat?

    Damn, man; they could've saved some money and just gone to New York City.

  36. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The answer is obvious

    An extra large size "little nipper" mousetrap of course.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    You can't call it Gordon!

    The Gordon Brown has already been claimed as the name for a brown, unpolishable waste item.

    Squaddies are now commenting how they 'did a Gordon' in the latrine.

  38. Anonymous Coward


    ... I spotted my cat hunting a couple of deer on our field in the weekend i don´t fear the cat sized rats. (The deer wasn't aware the cat was hunting them.. they were aware of a cat looking weirdly at them though. They just diden´t care. But don´t tell the cat)

  39. alwarming

    Aren't bandicoot rats usually bigger than 1.5 kg ? [includes photos].

    "Northern bandicoot weighs from 1-3 kg while the smaller long-nosed bandicoot weighs less than 1 kg."

    I've personally been chased by a big one in Kerala(India) once. Somehow these stores aren't as impressive as being chased by lions.

  40. Syneil

    Reminds me

    of The Princess Bride...

    Oh dear, I'm admitting to having watched that trash...

  41. Ben Rosenthal

    Yorkshire Terriers in the wild?


  42. The other Ross

    It's certainly ratlike

    but I thought it couldn't be a true rat unless it belonged to the Rattus genus?

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