The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database


Zyzomys pedunculatus (Waite, 1896)

Central rock rat, MacDonnell Range rock-rat, Central thick-tailed rock-rat, Central thick-tailed rat, Waite's rock-rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Conilurus pedunculatus Waite, 1896; Laomys pedunculatus (Waite, 1896)


Conservation Status

Rediscovered twice: the first time (1966-1996) and second time (2002?-2010).

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered



Northern Territory, Australia


Biology & Ecology










Anonymous. (1977). MacDonnell Range Rock-Rat, Central Thick-tailed Rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus. Mammals No. 6. In: Australian Endangered Species. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Baynes, Alexander and Jones, Barbara. (1993). The mammals of Cape Range peninsula, Western Australia, pp. 207-226. In: Humphreys, W. F. (ed.). The Biogeography of Cape Range, Western Australia. Perth: Western Australian Museum.

Baynes, Alexander and McDowell, Matthew C. (2010). The original mammal fauna of the Pilbara biogeographic region of north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 78: 285-298.

Baynes, Alexander, Piper, Cassia J. and Thorn, Kailah M. (2019). An experimental investigation of differential recovery of native rodent remains from Australian palaeontological and archaeological deposits. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34(1): 1-30.

Burbidge, A. A and Fuller, P. J. (1979). Mammals of the Warburton region, Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8(1): 57-73.

Cole, J. (2000). Recovery Plan for the Central Rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Project Number 583. The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, Australia.

Edwards, G. P. (2012a). Temporal analysis of the diet of the central rock-rat. Australian Mammalogy 35(1): 43-48. [Abstract]

Edwards, G. P. (2012b). Relative abundance of the central rock-rat, the desert mouse and the fat-tailed Pseudantechinus at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, Northern Territory. Aust Mammal 35: 144-148.

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1941). On central Australian mammals. Part II: The Muridae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 65: 215-232.

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1961). On central Australian mammals. Part IV. The distribution and status of central Australian species. Records of the South Australian Museum 14: 141-192.

Flannery, Timothy F. (2009a). The Third Wave. The Monthy, April. [pagination?]

Flannery, Timothy F. (2009b). The Third Wave, pp. 45-50. In: Davidson, Robyn (ed.). The Best Australian Essays, 2009. Melbourne: Black Inc. xii + 384. [Flannery (2009a) included in a collection of essays]

Gaikhorst, G. and Lambert, C. (2009). Breeding and maintenance of the Central rock-rat [i]Zyzomys pedunculatus[/i] at Perth Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 43(1): 212-221. [Abstract]

Hoser, Raymond T. (1991). Endangered Animals of Australia. Mosman, NSW: Pierson & Co. 240 pp. [pp. 182]

Iredale, Tom and Troughton, Ellis Le Geyt. (1934). A check-list of the mammals recorded from Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: i-xii, 1-122.

Kendrick, George W. and Porter, Jennifer K. (1974). Remains of a Thylacine (Marsupialia: Dasyuroidea) and other fauna from caves in the Cape Range, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 56(4): 116-122.

Kitchener, D. J. (1989). Taxonomic appraisal of Zyzomys (Rodentia, Muridae) with descriptions of two new species from the Northern Territory, Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 14: 331-373.

McDonald, Peter J. et al. (2013). Extant population of the Critically Endangered central rock-rat Zyzomys pedunculatus located in the Northern Territory, Australia. Oryx 47(2): 303-306. [Abstract]

McDonald, Peter, Brittingham, Richie, Nano, Catherine and Paltridge, Rachel. (2014). A new population of the critically endangered central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus) discovered in the Northern Territory. Australian Mammalogy 37(1): 97-100. [Abstract]

Morse, Kate. (1993). Who can see the sea? Prehistoric Aboriginal occupation of the Cape Range peninsula. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 45: 227-242.

Nano, T. (2008). Central Rock-rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 658-660. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Nano, T. J., Smith, C. M., and Jefferys, E. (2003). Investigation into the diet of the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Wildlife Research 30: 513-518.

Parker, Shane A. (1973). An annotated checklist of the native land mammals of the Northern Territory. Records of the South Australian Museum 16(11): 1-57.

Pavey, C. (2002). Central Rock-Rat: Zyzomys pedunculatus. Threatened Species of the Northern Territory.

Ride, W. D. L. (1970). A Guide to the Native Mammals of Australia. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Thornback, Jane and Jenkins, Martin (compilers). (1982). The IUCN Mammal Red Data Book. Part 1: Threatened Mammalian Taxa of the Americas and the Australasian Zoogeographic Region (Excluding Cetacea). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 516 pp.

Watts, C. H. S. (1979). The status of endangered Australian rodents, pp. 75-83. In: Tyler, Michael J. (ed.). The Status of Endangered Australasian Wildlife. Adelaide: Royal Zoological Society of South Australia.

Watts, C. H. S. and Aslin, H. J. (1981). The Rodents of Australia. Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

Woinarski, J. and Morris, K. (2008). Zyzomys pedunculatus. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 28 April 2013.

Wurst, D. 1990. Report on the survey for the Central Rock-rat Zyzomys pedunculatus in the Alice Springs Region. Endangered Species Program Project Number 6. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra (unpublished).

Wurst, D. (1995a). Search for the central rock-rat. Australian Natural History 24(12): 38-45.

Wurst, D. 1995b. Central Rock-rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus, pp. 624-625. In: Strahan, Ronald (ed.). The Mammals of Australia. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed Books. 756 pp.

Wurst, D. 1997. Rock-rats alive! Nature Australia, Spring, 1997:12-14. [includes a photograph of the species]


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