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The problem, of course, is in finding the mines, and that's where the African pouched rat is making a name for itself.
Giant African pouched rats have a highly sensitive sense of smell and are trained to detect bacteria and explosive TNT.
Prof Belmain added: "Some people keep African pouched rats as pets, which do get that big.
Bart Jan Christiane Weetjens: Whereas dogs are "man's best friend," socially accepted and widely used for all kinds of detection applications, giant African pouched rats represent an excellent alternative with many advantages over dogs, apart from the social acceptance (see https://www.flickr.com/ photos/42612410@N05/).
Using giant African pouched rats to detect tuberculosis in human sputum samples: 2010 findings.

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