Australian Water Rat Skull


The Rakali also known the Australian Otter or Water-rat, is an Australian native rodent first scientifically described in 1804. Adoption of the Aboriginal name Rakali is intended to foster a positive public attitude by Environment Australia.


Australian Water Rat Skull Replica measures 2.3 inches. Australian Water Rat Skull is museum quality polyurethane resin cast. Made in USA. 2-part skull (separate cranium & jaw). Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home décor skull, or office décor skull.

The Australian Water Rat, Rakali or Hydromys chrysogaster, also known as Rabe or water-rat, is an Australian native rodent first described in 1804.

The change to the aboriginal name Rakali was intended to foster a positive public attitude by Environment Australia. The Gunwinggu (Kunwinjku) people of western Arnhem Land call this animal Yirrku.

It is the only member of the genus Hydromys with a range extending beyond Papua New Guinea and Indonesian West Papua.

Having adapted to and colonized a unique niche of a semiaquatic and nocturnal lifestyle, the Australian Water Rat or Hydromys chrysogaster lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries and feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds’ eggs and water birds.

Australian Water Rat or Hydromys chrysogaster have a body 9.1 to 14.6 ins. in length, weigh, 0.750–2.811 lb. and have a thick tail measuring around 9.5–13.6 in. Females are generally smaller than males but tail lengths are normally the same. They have partially webbed hind legs, waterproof fur, a flattened head, a long blunt nose, many whiskers and small ears and eyes.

Australian Water Rat or Hydromys chrysogaster body is streamlined with a skull that is large, flat and elongated, with two molars on the upper and lower jaw, similar to the False water rat Xeromys myoides. They are black to brown in color with an orange to white belly, and dark tail with a white tip.

Rakali are hunted for their soft fur and considered a nuisance animal, numbers were under threat until a protection order in 1938. They were still under destruction permits from 1938 to 1957 due to alleged destruction of irrigation banks and destruction of fishing nets. Additionally from 1957 to 1967 a number of licensed seasons were also held for this reason.

Australian Water Rat or Hydromys chrysogaster are a predominately carnivorous species feeding on a variety of aquatic animals including fish, crustaceans, shellfish, small birds, eggs, mammals, frogs, reptiles. In winter, when resources are limited, they will also take plants.

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Additional information

Weight 1.5 lbs
Dimensions 2.3 in
Australian Water Rat Facts

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Hydromys
Species: H. chrysogaster
Binomial name: Hydromys chrysogaster
Conservation status: Least Concern