New Rodent Discovered, could lower Termite Population

A new species of rodent was discovered in 2001, in Africa, but has only been announced by the discoverers last week, for fear that they would become endangered very quickly due to their remarkable talents in finding and consuming termites. The extremely small animal, with a maximum length of 4 cm, and a weight of 20 grams, was discovered by some scientists from The National Geographic along the Kenyan-Ugandan border. It seems as if the mostly nocturnal animals have an innate ability to smell and hear termites, and consume 10-12 a day. Another fascinating aspect of the rodent, Termitidae Terminetur (Termite Terminator), is that they have long gestation periods and life-spans compared to other members of the rodent family. Some subjects in the wild, with adequate food supplies, lived to be over 7 years old. Rats and mice normally have a life span of about 1-3 years. Perhaps because of this they normally have a litter of only 1-2 offspring, and only once a year. The new rodent also showed a taste only for termites, researchers were unable to coax them into eating anything else including sugar, fruit, dairy products or cheese. Researchers believe that the new animals could become a new type of pest control, used in infested buildings or forests, and then they could be lured out of the infested buildings after the termites were eradicated. Millions of dollars in property damage is caused by termites every year. China is looking into importing the new rodents to use in some western provinces where the Formosa Termite has been especially destructive. 

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