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Hydromys chrysogaster 17072011.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Hydromys
Species: H. chrysogaster
Binomial name
Hydromys chrysogaster
Geoffroy, 1804
Water Rat.JPG
Distribution of the water rat

Hydromys chrysogaster, commonly known as rakali, rabe or water-rat, is an Australian native rodent. It is the only member of the genus Hydromys with a range extending beyond Papua New Guinea and Indonesian West Papua. The species lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries and feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds' eggs and water birds. Rakali have a body 231–370 millimetres (9.1–14.6 in) in length, weigh 340–1,275 grams (0.750–2.811 lb), and have a thick tail measuring around 242–345 millimetres (9.5–13.6 in). They have webbed hind legs, waterproof fur, a flattened head, a long blunt nose, many whiskers and small ears and eyes. They are black to brown in colour with an orange to white belly, and dark tail with a white tip.

Common names[edit]

Until the 1980s, this species was commonly known as "water-rat", but during the 1990s there was a push for such descriptive English common names to be replaced with indigenous names. In 1995 the Australian Nature Conservation Agency released a document in which the following indigenous names were recorded for H. chrysogaster. They recommended that "rakali" be adopted as the common name,[2] and the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage has taken up this suggestion. Both common names are now widespread.


  1. ^ Aplin, K.; Copley, P.; Robinson, T.; Burbidge, A.; Morris, K.; Woinarski, J.; Friend, T.; Ellis, M. & Menkhorst, P. (2008). "Hydromys chrysogaster". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b Braithwaite R. W.; et al. (1995). Australian names for Australian rodents. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. ISBN 0-642-21373-9. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakali — Please support Wikipedia.
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16 news items

The West Australian

The West Australian
Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:33:45 -0800

Among the long and growing list of Australia's endangered native wildlife species, they are perhaps one of the least known and most easily confused. The rakali - colloquially known as the Australian water rat - has been mistakenly called a platypus, an ...
ABC Online
Sun, 11 Jan 2015 08:32:33 -0800

We meet on a cool morning in the affluent Sydney suburb of Mosman, where the only people awake are the street sweepers arriving for work and intrepid biologists keen on a water rat hunt. We are on the lookout for the water rat, also known as the Rakali.

Herald Sun

Herald Sun
Tue, 06 Jan 2015 06:15:29 -0800

@Daniel People are probably seeing Rakali (Water Rats). I used to work at the Banana Alley Vaults and they were regulars around the area. They may have moved further into the city to find food. FlagShare. LikeReply. David 5ptsFeatured Jan 6, 2015.
ABC Local
Thu, 01 May 2014 21:47:25 -0700

The rakali is one of many mammals that migrated to the ancient continent about 4 - 5 million years ago. There was a massive migration of mammals at that time, and then another migration to the continent about 1 million years ago. These groups of ...


Tue, 24 Dec 2013 03:54:46 -0800

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Wildlife Extra

Wildlife Extra
Wed, 28 May 2014 00:18:45 -0700

This change is also likely to assist conservation of freshwater turtles and native Australian water-rats (or rakali), both of which are more likely to inhabit farm dams than are platypus. Studies assessing the ability of turtles to escape from opera ...
Sat, 11 May 2013 14:14:42 -0700

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There are red stars, blue stars and white stars, but why are there no green stars in space? Watch Eugene Mirman persuade Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain how we can get green light from nebulae, but why we can't get green light from a star in this ...

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