Laonastes aenigmamus or Kha-nyou is somewhat squirrel-like rodent found in the Khammouan Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation area Laos.
Kha-nyou is an endangered species because it has only been found in such a small area.
The Laonastes aenigmamus was described recently by Museum scientists and the rodent was originally considered to belong to a completely new family, the Laonastidae (Jenkins et al. 2005).
However Kha-nyou was subsequently determined to be a lazarus species a living survivor of an otherwise extinct family, the Diatomyidae. The Diatomyidae were believed to have been extinct for approximately 11 million years (Dawson et al., 2006) until this discovery.
Read a description of the appearance of this squirrel-like species and find out about its links to other families and species, including a link to a family previously believed to have been extinct for 11 million years.
Find out where Laonastes aenigmamus is believed to be endemic to and the type of habitat it is found in.
While little is known about the biology of Laonastes aenigmamus, find out what reports suggest about its reproductive biology.
Discover the reasons for the kha-nyou being listed as an endangered species.
Get reference material for Laonastes aenigmamus.
Laonastes aenigmamus © D. Redfield
Laonastes aenigmamus has a range of less than 5,000 km2, being largely confined to the Khammouan Limestone National Biodiversity Conservation Area. © M. Webber
A drawing of Laonastes aenigmamus showing its elongated head with small, rounded ears and long whiskers.© R. Timmins and M. Webber