Talk:Laotian rock rat

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Really can't find a real picture of this rat on the web, one month after its discovery. A tribute to the science or to the copyright ?

One is now on the news article from the NHM, London.

"The genus name for this animal, Laonastes, means "inhabitant of stone". Is it surely not "inhabitant of Laos"? --Wetman 01:49, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Not according to the article. I reread the relevant sentence there several times because I thought the same thing. --Aranae 02:00, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)
It's probably one of those taxonomic puns. At any rate, if "stone" is genuine, the etyma are λᾶος (Greek: laos "stone") + νάστης (Greek: nastes "inhabitant"). —Muke Tever 13:12, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]

Any Pics? Also I hope this wouldn't be one of those genetically altered animals.

location of the article[edit]

Shouldn't it be at Laotian rock rat? (not capitalized?) Dave (talk)

There's been a lot of discussion about this on the tree of life pages and the decision seems to be that for vertebrate wikipedia articles common names of species (i.e. Laotian Rock Rat) are capitalised. Common names for larger groups (i.e. rodent) are lowercase. I personally think the lowercase form is more grammatically correct, more appropriate and more searchable, but I set up the article in all caps to fit with that decision. --Aranae 07:02, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
could you show me the relevant tree of life page so I can see (and possibly influence) the current consensus? Thanks, Dave (talk) 14:22, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
I'm happy with the article where it is. I just suspect someone else will come along and try to change it back. Some of the links to the discussions are (in no particular order) here, here, here, and here, but note on the final one that it pertains to birds and there are rules for capitalization of birds that are specific to that group and designed specifically by ornithologists. There are also an incredible number of talk pages for different organisms throughout wikipedia that have more arguments about it. Again, I want to go on record saying that I don't care and I'm not proposing that it be moved back. --Aranae 16:41, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

links removed[edit]

I removed two links that require registration in order to read. If somebody wants to put them in the References section that would also be good. I don't have the articles to do it myself.

Liblamb 21:15, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've moved the zoo-talk link here to the discussion page, as the destination seems to no longer exist. With a quick browse of their on-site search engine, I didn't find a new link location.

I'm not well-versed in Wikipedia consensus/policy, but following the sentiment of the previous comment, the first news link is to the NY Times, (sometimes?) requiring registration to read. DamienJR 18:13, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[]

New Mammals[edit]

I question this sentence, at least as written.

The most recent incident prior to the discovery of the Laotian Rock Rat by western science was the discovery of the Bumblebee Bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai; family Craseonycteridae) in 1974.

Muntiacus putaoensis This article calls it a 'bovid'. I think 'cervid' is meant.

Pseudoryx nghetinhensis This one really is a bovid.--FourthAve 09:15, 21 July 2005 (UTC)[]

The section refers to discovering a new family. Your first example is a new genus of muntjac (a cervid) and your second refers to a new genus of bovid. If clarification is needed in the wording of the article, I'd encourage you to do so. --Aranae 15:11, July 21, 2005 (UTC)
I am reasonably content with the rewrite. The idea that a large mammal could escape our description in the late 1990s is embarassing, but it happened. What's interesting is that all these mammals, including the Laos Rock Rat, inhabit very rugged terrain, where Burma, Laos, Vietnam and China all come together. I remember the leaf deer being called a 'laughing deer', i.e., a deer that vocalizes (and we all good Americans know whitetail don't make serious vocalizations).
A new (taxonomic) family is sexy, downright sensational. But it has to be reported responsibly, gravely, boringly. But a certain excitement has been introduced.--FourthAve 09:15, 22 July 2005 (UTC)[]

Drawing- copyvio?[edit]

I don't see the fair use justification for using that drawing. This is not an article which discusses the drawing. As far as I can see, we're just stealing someone else's work. Markyour words 13:36, 10 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Are you f'n serious? It's fair use because, apparently, no one has a photograph of the bloody rat and it's not being used for financial profit. As long as it's noted where/who the drawing came, why are you being so touchy about it? --260 15:09, 10 March 2006 (UTC)[]
Simmer down. Mark's question is entirely valid since the picture is technically a copyvio - no question. Someone drew it and now it's being used without their consent or knowledge. On the page for the pic, the uploader listed a variety of reasons why it should be used and I don't necessarily disagree with them, but I'm also quite leery about rather blatantly using copyrighted material just because no other option is available. Matt Deres 17:25, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]

precise etymology?[edit]

I'dlike to see the precise words from which the genus name was derived. Circeus 18:11, 10 March 2006 (UTC)[]

'Laonastes, means "inhabitant of stone" (from Greek λαος = laos = stone and ναστης = nastes = inhabitant)' is wrong. Greek λαος(laos) means people not stone, whereas ναστης(nastes) means inhabitant derived from the verb ναιω = I inhabit, I reside. So, Laonastes actually means inhabitant of Laos. 'aenigmamus means "enigma mouse" (from Greek αινγμα = ænigma and μυς = mus, "mouse")' is correct. Astrofos 08:45, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Inhabitant of stone is what's listed in the article and is the official explanation for why it was named as it is. That leaves an interesting difficulty in how we word things since the authors appeared to have made a mistake in their usage of λαος. Perhaps they thought the country Laos was named after a word for rock and named the animal after the supposed root of Laos in an attempt to describe the rocky habitat (and simultaneously the country from whence it's found). There is a detailed etymology in the paper, but absolutely no mention that it was named after the country, but instead that λαος neans stone. Jenkins et al. (2004) state: "The generic name of the animal is derived from the Greek λαος (laos), stone and ναστης (nastes), an inhabitant and is based on its habitat among the rocks of the limestone karst."
I don't think we should stick with the current wording (The genus name for this animal, Laonastes, means "inhabitant of Laos" (from Greek ναστης = nastes = inhabitant). The specific epithet aenigmamus means "enigma mouse" (from Greek αινγμα = ænigma and μυς = mus, "mouse") referring to its unknown position among the rodents (Jenkins et al., 2004).) because I think it implies that the authors intended to name it after the country instead of "stone". I suspect the section needs a longer explanation. --Aranae 09:12, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]
Apparently the "Lao-" part of the word derives not from the word λαος (which indeed means "people"), but "λᾶας" (genitive λᾶος, "stone" [1]), so the official explanation of the name's meaning is correct! Kaarel 11:53, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]
Indeed, Kaarel is right. Although the use of λάας(laas) goes way back to Homeric Greek, it does mean "stone" and by the way is where the word λαός(laos)=people derives from according to mythology. Nevertheless the selection of a word like laas (gen laos), among several ancient Greek words suitable, as a reference to limestone rocks cannot be coincidental. Even as a wordplay it implicitly refers to the country of Lao(s). So, I suggest to revert to the old text with a minor change stating just that. I won't edit the page yet, waiting for your opinions this time :)
"The genus name for this animal, Laonastes, means "inhabitant of stone" (from Greek λάας = laas = stone, gen λάος = laos = of stone and ναστης = nastes = inhabitant). This is in reference to its presence around limestone rocks and also to the country where it was recently discovered. The specific epithet aenigmamus means "enigma mouse" (from Greek αινγμα = ænigma and μυς = mus, "mouse") referring to its unknown position among the rodents (Jenkins et al., 2004)." --Astrofos 16:35, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]
Looks good to me. --Aranae 17:56, 14 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Molecular phylogenetics[edit]

Does anyone know if anyone is studying the molecular phylogenetics of the Laotian rock rat? I'm surprised it's taken this long Nil Einne 18:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Looking at the reference list, it appears the original authors did as I would have expected... Ooops Nil Einne 18:30, 11 March 2006 (UTC)[]


"In 2006 the classification of the Laotian rock rat was refuted by Mary Dawson et al." - POV? See Wiktionary on refute: "The accepted meaning of this word is "to prove false". The meaning "to deny" is non-standard and is avoided by careful speakers and writers." Gabriel R 12:43, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[]

Changed to "reconsidered". Ucucha (talk) 14:36, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[]

First time?[edit]

I've deleted the following sentence:

This is the first time that such an old species has been found that had long thought to have been extinct.

Surely the case of the coelacanth invalidates this statement?Jon Rob 13:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[]

No, that species (Latimeria chalumnae) was newly discovered. It is a member of a group that has long been though to be extinct. The same goes true for Laonastes, which is actually the third/fourth (Willmus was described in the same year) genus of Diatomyidae. In any case, the sentence does not make any sense. Ucucha (talk) 14:26, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[]

"In this photo provided by Florida State University, a Diatomyidae is seen in Laos in May 2006. The Diatomyidae, or Laotian rock rat, was the first live specimen of its species to be photographed in Doy, a small village in central Laos during an expedition by Florida State University professor David Redfield and Thai biologist Uthai Treesucon. The species once was thought to have been extinct for 11 million years. (AP Photos/Florida State University, Uthai Treesucon)" - AP Press

First photographs! We found it![edit]

An excerpt from the article is below. Have fun! RK 23:53, 14 June 2006 (UTC)[]

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The first pictures showing a live specimen of a rodent species once thought to have been extinct for 11 million years have been taken by a retired Florida State University professor and a Thai wildlife biologist. They took video and still photographs of the "living fossil," which looks like a small squirrel or tree shrew, in May during an expedition to central Laos near the Thai border.
Known as Diatomyidae, scientists have nicknamed it the Laotian rock rat. The creature is not really a rat but a member of a rodent family once known only from fossils. The pictures show a docile, squirrel-sized animal with dark dense fur and a long tail but not as bushy as a squirrel's. It also shows that the creature waddles like a duck with its hind feet splayed out at an angle — ideal for climbing rocks....

More etymology[edit]

Can anyone explain what the name kha-nyou means exactly, and in what language (presumably Laotian)? Widsith 10:51, 17 June 2006 (UTC)[]

Citation tag[edit]

Would someone please be more specific as to which statements are challenged and require more references? I actually think the article is fairly well referenced. --Aranae (talk) 02:19, 28 November 2007 (UTC)[]

Looks pretty well referenced to me too. At the least, I don't think it would be possible to add more different references. Laotian rock rat#Natural history could probably use a citation, but that's about all I can see. Helioseus (talk) 16:44, 16 December 2007 (UTC)[]

Image copyright problem with Image:Ratsquriiall.jpg[edit]

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Photographs of Laonastes aenigmamus[edit]

I have my own photographs of Laonastes aenigmamus which I would like to donate. I have taken them myself and they have no copyright attached to them. What is the best way I can do this so that they can be used on Wiki? Alanboatman (talk) 08:00, 5 January 2009 (UTC)[]

Major umbridge with the Lao (local) name[edit]

The local name for Laonastes aenigmamus is "Nou Pha Yu". This litterally means "Storm Rat". This is what the locals in Khammouane Province call it. "Kha Nyou" is not known to be the local name and if it is in places, it is using a perjorative epithet. 'Kha' is a perjorative label for the Khamu ethnic group used by the Lao ethnic group. It has meanings similar to 'slave' and is considered very rude by Khamu people. Hence whoever told the scientists this Lao name were saying Khamu Rat, but the meaning carries implications similar to 'Nigger Rat'. Alanboatman (talk) 08:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)[]

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