Science and conservation for the world’s 2800 small mammal species

Rodents: Family Platacanthomyidae

holding_imgThe family Platacanthomyidae is comprised of small rodents. This family includes two species with two genera, Platacanthomys and Typhlomys. The two species are Platacanthomys lasiurus, Malabar Spiny Dormice, and Typhlomys cinereus, Pygmy Dormice. This family is found in southern India, southern China, and northern Vietnam. Overall, they have a discontinuous Old World distribution. Their preferred habitat is moist, rocky, tropical, and subtropical forests at an elevation of 600 to 2100 meters. Since Platacanthomyids are herbivores, they are primary consumers in their ecosystems. Their positive economic importance for humans is unknown at this time, but unfortunately this family does have a negative economic impact for humans. In India, the species Platacanthomys lasiurus is abundant and known as the pepper rat since it destroys pepper crops.

This family is known to be arboreal, scansorial, nocturnal, and motile. Commonly located near a stream, the Platacanthomyids occupy burrows, tree cavities, and clefts between rocks. The genus Platacanthomys uses their large, tufted tails to balance when hopping between branches. Overall, the platacanthomyids are mouse like in their appearance with a body length ranging from 70 to 212 mm. Their feet are slim and small with five medium long digits. They have naked feet that have six pads each. Skulls have a small and delicate dentary bone. Lastly, the species Typhlomys cinereus is critically endangered and listed on the IUCN Red List due to habitat destruction.



Work Cited
Poor, Allison. 2005. ” Platacanthomyidae ” (Online), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed January 26, 2015 at Updated September1, 2005

Author: Stacie Garcia