The giant jumping rat can leap almost 1 m (3 ft) in the air to avoid predators - namely the puma-like fossa. Nocturnal, giant jumping rats leave their burrow at dusk to feed on fallen fruit and seeds. Food is consumed in a manner similar to squirrels whereby it is held in the forepaws and manipulated in the mouth while the rat sits semi-upright on its haunches.
The wild giant jumping rats are born at the start of the warm rainy season in late November and early December. A litter generally consists of 1-2. These rats live in burrows that typically consist of a complex of tunnels.
Habitat loss and competition from introduced black rats threaten its survival. It is listed as endangered by IUCN.