Note: While it is quite obvious this animal (Rhizomys sinensis) already exists this page identifies possibly bigger specimens.
The Chinese bamboo rat (Rhizomys sinensis) is a species of rodent in the Spalacidae family found in southern China, southern Myanmar, and northern Vietnam. Its habitat is bamboo thickets usually at high elevations, pine forests, and plantations.
Chinese bamboo rats rarely grow beyond seven inches and are found throughout southern China, northern Burma and Vietnam. Only a few specimens have been known to exceed seven inches.
On February 16th, 2009, a giant specimen was captured. The rat, which weighed six pounds and had a 12-inch tail, was caught at the weekend in a residential area of Fuzhou, a city of six million people on China's south coast.
The rat catcher, who was only named as Mr Xian, said he swooped for the rodent after seeing a big crowd of people surrounding it on the street.
He told local Chinese newspapers that he thought the rat might be a valuable specimen, or a rare species, and had to muster up his courage before grabbing its tail and picking it up by the scruff of its neck.
"I did it, I caught a rat the size of a cat!" he shouted out afterwards, according to the reports. Mr Xian is believed to still be in possession of the animal, after stuffing into a bag and departing the scene.
The local forestry unit in the city identified the nightmarish creature as a bamboo rat from initial photographs, but said that it would need to examine the rat more closely before making a final identification.
All bamboo rats are slow-moving and usually spend their time in underground burrows, feeding on bamboo. Chinese bamboo rats are often sold for meat in Chinese markets. The largest rats in the world are thought to be African giant pouched rats, which can grow up to 36 inches in length.