First Mammalian find in Decade

Wildlife experts believe they have found Europe’s first new
terrestrial mammal, since several decades. This was
discovered on the island of Cyprus and, it’s a humble
mouse. The
Mus cypriacus has a larger head, ears, teeth
and a longer tail than its peer, the
Mus musculus, the
common house mouse.

The primary habitat of Cypriot mouse seems to be the
vineyards and fields of the Troodos Mountains region.

The mouse was recognized as a new species in 2004 by
Dr. Thomas Cucchi, a research fellow at the University of
Durham. It was formally described in 2006.

DNA tests confirmed that it was a new species.

According to Dr. Thomas Cucchi, the new mouse of
Cyprus is the only endemic rodent still alive and as such,
can be considered as a living fossil. Originally, he wanted
to call it Mus aphrodite, as Cyprus is the birthplace of
Aphrodite according to Greek mythology.

January 2007
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