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Illustration of a skull (1888)
Illustration of a skull

Pseudoryzomys is a rodent from south-central South America in the family Cricetidae. Found in lowland palm savanna and thorn scrub habitats, it is a medium-sized rat, weighing about 50 grams (1.8 oz). It has gray-brown fur, long and narrow hindfeet with small membranes between the toes, and a tail that is about as long as the head and body. Its conservation status has been assessed as least concern, although almost nothing is known of its diet or reproduction. Its closest living relatives are the large semiaquatic rats Holochilus and Lundomys. These three genera form an assemblage within the oryzomyine tribe, a diverse group including over one hundred species, mainly in South America. This tribe is part of the subfamily Sigmodontinae and family Cricetidae, which include many more species, mainly from Eurasia and the Americas. The species Pseudoryzomys simplex was first described in 1888 on the basis of subfossil cave specimens from Brazil (as Hesperomys simplex). (Full article...)