One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large South American burrowing rodent of the chinchilla family, sometimes hunted for its fur and flesh.
Genera Lagidium and Lagostomus, family Chinchillidae: four species
- ‘The next-to-the-last trap held an animal - a viscacha rat, unlike any I had ever seen.’
- ‘We named our find the golden viscacha rat, Pipanacoctomys aureus, its genus reflecting the isolated valley where it lives and its species name highlighting its golden color.’
- ‘Chinchillas and mountain viscachas live in mountainous, rocky areas, where they move over and through the rocks with great agility.’
- ‘After our work with the plains viscacha rat, I became convinced that the vast salt flats scattered throughout the deserts and arid thorn forests of northern Argentina could harbor other salt-pan specialists.’
- ‘At the time, the nearest known relative of the plains viscacha rat was another viscacha rat, Octomys mimax, with fifty-six chromosomes.’
Early 17th century: via Spanish from Quechua ( h)uiscacha.
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