Definitions for oryzomys
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Oryzomys, genus Oryzomys(noun)
Oryzomys is a genus of semiaquatic rodents in the tribe Oryzomyini living in southern North America and far northern South America. It includes eight species, two of which—the marsh rice rat of the United States and O. couesi of Mexico and Central America—are widespread; the six others have more restricted distributions. The species have had eventful taxonomic histories, and most species were at one time included in the marsh rice rat; additional species may be recognized in the future. The name Oryzomys was established in 1857 by Spencer Fullerton Baird for the marsh rice rat and was soon applied to over a hundred species of American rodents. Subsequently, the genus gradually became more narrowly defined until its current contents were established in 2006, when ten new genera were established for species previously placed in Oryzomys. Species of Oryzomys are medium-sized rats with long, coarse fur. The upperparts are gray to reddish and the underparts white to buff. The animals have broad feet without complete ungual tufts of hair around the claws and, in at least some species, with webbing between the toes. The rostrum is broad and the braincase is high. Both the marsh rice rat and O. couesi have 56 chromosomes, lack a gall bladder, and have a complex penis with some traits that are rare among oryzomyines; these characteristics are unknown in the other species of this genus.
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