cane rat, noun phrase

Origin:
Named for its habitat and diet.
The large rodent Thryonomys swinderianus of the Thryonomyidae.
1876 H. Brooks Natal 116The cane-rat or ground-rat that feeds upon the sugar-canes is properly more of a porcupine than a rat.
1891 R. Russell Natal 34There are also jackals, wild or hunting-dogs..cane-rats, hares, rabbits, rock-rabbits, and field and house rats and mice.
1907 J.P. Fitzpatrick Jock of Bushveld 339There were the cane rats..as big and tender as small suckling-pigs.
1931 Guide to Vertebrate Fauna of E. Cape Prov. (Albany Museum) I. 18The Cane-Rat, A stout animal with no true fur, the hairs being very coarse and bristly like small quills, a short rat-like tail, short rounded ears and blunt snout...They strip the bark of trees and are very destructive to sugar cane.
1971 C.M. Van der Westhuizen in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. III. 17Cane-rat, Inhabits dense vegetation in the vicinity of water.
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 228Agricultural development in the growing of crops such as maize, sugar-cane and pineapples has greatly improved the habitat for the greater canerat and..they can be a problem.
The large rodent Thryonomys swinderianus of the Thryonomyidae.

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18761990