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Animal Database
Emin's Pouched Rat
111916
Information
Common Name African Pouched Rat
Range Africa
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Nesomyidae
Genus Cricetomys
Species Cricetomys emini
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Emin's pouched rat (Cricetomys emini), also known as the African pouched rat, is a species of giant pouched rat in the Nesomyidae family. It is related to the Gambian pouched rat, (Cricetomys gambianus).

They are native to Africa and are found along the edges of forests and along the plains. Emin's rats are actually better climbers than their better known Gambian pouched rat cousins. These pouched rats are named for having cheek pouches much like a hamster.

Emin's rat and the Gambian rat have a few very noticeable physical differences:

  • Emin's rat has a distinct line of color difference between their lower abdomen area and upper body. The abdomen is grey/white, whereas their upper body is dark brown. The tail has a white tip to it. Gambian rats have a greyish brown color that is fairly uniform throughout their body, only gradually getting lighter on their abdomen.
  • Emin's rats are very sleek and muscular in appearance. They're quite slender looking, and are excellent climbers. Gambians are somewhat bulky, rough looking, and have been reported to be less "arboreal" than the emin's.
  • Emin's rats tend to weigh less and be slightly smaller than the Gambian rat.

Both species were introduced into the exotic pet trade. Unfortunately, many dealers and breeders failed to recognize the difference in the two species and some even tried breeding the two together. There have been reports of it being successful, and other reports of offspring dying at birth. Both species are sometimes kept as pets, but males can be territorial to others of the same species.

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