. Its skull reached up to zeven centimeters in length. The Tenerife Giant Rat was the most imposing of its family: a related species, the Gran Canaria giant rat (Canariomys tamarani) reached a body length of 'just' 25 centimeters, similar to the size of the 'modern' brown rat.
Isolation, an abundance of food and absence of predators is the reason that some species develop extreme sizes.
Tenerife Giant Rat was a strong and powerfully muscled rodent able to move on different substrates from the ground to the trees and probably had digging skills.
|[Image by Ghedoghedo]|
After the Tenerife giant rat became extinct, the island was devoid of rodents until the Vikings arrived around 1000 AD. Mice accompanied the Vikings in their boats and disembarked when they reached the islands.
 Moncunill-Solé et al: How large are the extinct giant insular rodents? New body mass estimations from teeth and bones in Integrative Zoology - 2014
 Michaux et al: Body shape and life style of the extinct rodent Canariomys bravoi (Mammalia, Murinae) from Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain) in Comptes Rendus Palevol - 2012
 Rando et al: Radiocarbon evidence for the presence of mice on Madeira Island (North Atlantic) one millennium ago in Royal Society Proceedings - 2014. See here.