Scientists have discovered in the Chilean Andes on top of a volcano Llullaillaco height 6739 meters jelesarov litohoro hamster (Phyllotis xanthopygus rupestris). Rodent set a world record: at such altitudes mammal first sighted, reported in the journal PNAS.
Until now it was thought that wild mammals do not live above 5200 meters above sea level – this was evidenced by numerous observations in the Himalayas and the Andes: a loud whistle hamsters and mice squeak, heard at the height of 5182 meters and once at altitude 6130 metres. So scientists as a complete surprise was the meeting at the top Llullaillaco hamster species Phyllotis xanthopygus rupestris. This rodent has set a world record, selecting, according to the researchers, such a hostile environment. Here, at an altitude of 6739 m for mammals pressure too low and not suitable for comfortable living temperature.
“This discovery, says the work suggests that, perhaps, still underestimated the adaptability of animals to living at high altitudes, because the highest peaks remain unexplored”. Jay Storz of the University of Nebraska (USA) suggests that, despite the adverse conditions of the environment, rodents are used to the cold and adapted to the low oxygen content in the air.
However, this discovery biologists still contains more questions than answers. For example, it is not clear why rodents-Champions Phyllotis xanthopygus rupestris eat at this altitude, because the boundary of the vegetation is approximately 2000 metres below.
the researchers caught the hamster, can be seen .