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any of four Asiatic species of burrowing, slow-moving, nocturnal rodents. Bamboo rats have a robust, cylindrical body, small ears and eyes, and short, stout legs. The three species of Rhizomys are 23 to 50 cm (9.1 to 19.7 inches) long with a short and bald or sparsely haired tail (5 to 20 cm). Fur on the upperparts is soft and dense or harsh and scanty, coloured slate gray to brownish gray with a paler underside. The lesser bamboo rat (genus Cannomys) is smaller-15 to 27 cm long, excluding the 6- to 8-cm tail. Its long, dense fur ranges from chestnut brown to a bright pale gray.