The number of native mammals known from Luzon Island (excluding bats) has risen from 42 to 49 (17 per cent).

This follows the discovery by a group of American and Filipino biologists of seven previously unknown species of mammals in the Philippines.

All of the species are forest mice, and each species lives only in a small part of Luzon. The formal descriptions of the seven species, all of which are members of the genus Apomys, were published on 20 May in Fieldiana, the peer-reviewed journal of The Field Museum.

According to Dr. Lawrence Heaney, the lead author of the publication, “These are wonderful little mice that live in forested regions high in the mountains. Although they are often abundant, they actively avoid humans and rarely cause any harm. They prefer to eat earthworms and seeds on the forest floor.”

These animals are part of the rich biological heritage of the Philippines.

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