These Semi-Aquatic Mice Are as Fascinating as They Are Adorable

Artist’s depiction of Colomys lumumbai, one of two newly described species of semi-aquatic mice.

Artist’s depiction of Colomys lumumbai, one of two newly described species of semi-aquatic mice.
Illustration: Velizar Simeonovski, Field Museum

African rainforests are home to some of the most delightful and surprising species on Earth, as demonstrated by recent research into some rather unusual water-loving rodents.

A study published today in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society describes two species of semi-aquatic mice. Living in the Congo Basin and the western parts of equatorial Africa, these mice make a living by hunting insects and tadpoles while wading through shallow water.

The authors of the new study, led by biologist Tom Giarla from Siena College in New York, did a deep dive into an enigmatic genus of mouse known as Colomys, which translates to “stilt mouse” on account of their elongated feet.

Two of Giarla’s collaborators on the project, Terry Demos and Julian Kerbis Peterhans from the Field

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