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 Post subject: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:29 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I found this hamster-sized rodent at the top of the Sani Pass during a birding trip.

Image

The African ice rat is a diurnal, herbivorous rodent, endemic to the alpine habitats of our southern Drakensberg and Maluti Mountains at altitude exceeding 2000m. These environments are characterized by sub-zero temperatures in winter and high levels of solar radiation in summer.

Ice rats live in colonies contain up to 17 individuals. They bask in the sun during cold winter days when snow is on the ground. During periods of extremely cold weather, they do not emerge from their burrows, foregoing basking and foraging. Intricate interlinking underground tunnel systems with sometimes more than 25 entrance holes and 1-2 nesting chambers, located about 300mm beneath the surface, provide a warm refuge for the ice rats at night as well as during adverse weather conditions.

Ice rats are specialised herbivores, feeding mainly on the floral parts, leaves and stems of grasses and herbaceous plants, obtaining all its moisture requirements from the food it consumes.

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:34 am 
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Interesting sighting Johan !! Never known about these rodents :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:31 am 
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Great stuff :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 10:33 am 
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Now that is a cute little critter :D

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:37 am 
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I've never even heard of these little rodents.............thanks Johan. :thumbs_up:

I'll look out for him next time we're there. :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Very interesting, thank you Johan :thumbs_up: The pic of the Littledale’s Whistling Rat is equally good :)

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Thanks Johan. I was surprised and it goes to show how little we know about critters other than the big 5.

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:43 pm 
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:thumbs_up: Beautiful little creature!

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:33 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I see this rat is better known as Sloggett's Rat, Otomys sloggetti.

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 Post subject: Re: African ice rat
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Thanksfor the info and pic Johan. We once saw one at Tiffendell when we did a quick stop over.
He basked in the sun right next to my SO and would disappeared down a pipe when somebody walked by. What an absolute cutie pie. He looked so clean and cuddly, I wanted him not to be an ordinary everyday rat.

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