Rats – One of the most abundant and widespread of all mammals, they are highly successful and adaptable rodent that has colonized nearly every part of the world.
The Rat typically lives in underground burrows that have one or more exits and rooms for nesting and for food storage. The rats are known to be good developers – able to develop a well-travelled system of pathways around the burrow, along which the rats regularly forage and which they can also use to escape danger. Rats scent-marked these pathways with urine.
Rats are also well-known carriers of diseases. They have been implicated in the spread of some 40 diseases, including the bubonic plague, Typhus, and Leptospirosis. For years it was believed that rats with plague-infested fleas caused the Second Plague Pandemic – known as Black Death which reached mainland Europe in 1347 and killed an estimated 25 million people.
Therefore, due to Rats vast influence on human history, culture and society, We’ve gathered up 10 interesting facts that will help you in getting to know the Rats in a much different way.
10. The Brown Rat
The brown rat is one of the most abundant and widespread of all mammals but is also one of the world’s most serious mammalian pests. Originally native to parts of China, Siberia, and Japan, the brown rat is now found virtually worldwide.
9. Rats are Sociable Species
The rat is a sociable species and usually, lives in groups which have a dominance hierarchy and defend a territory. The rat commonly lives close to humans, often occupying buildings, farmland, sewers and rubbish tips.
Chicago tops the list of the most rat-infested U.S. cities, according to a 2016 list compiled by Orkin (Pest control company in America). New York is second, followed by Washington, D.C.
8. Rats – are The”DJ” Sound Master
The rat produces a variety of sounds, including squeals, whistles, soft chirps, hisses, and teeth chattering or grinding. This species is also able to hear ultrasonic sounds, above the range of human hearing, and uses a number of ultrasonic calls.
Pet rats have even been recorded producing a particular ultrasonic call known as ‘rat laughter’ when playing and being tickled.
7. The Black “Ship” Rat
The black rat originates from Asia, and today is widely distributed around the globe. Also known as the ship rat, the black rat (Rattus rattus) was introduced to Britain during the Roman conquest as early as the 1st century. The species of black rat was once widespread throughout Britain until the brown rat was introduced.
6. Naked Mole Rat
Naked mole rats have well-developed eyes, but their brain has lost the ability to process what they see, leaving them functionally blind. The life-history of naked mole rats is astonishingly similar to social insects, with a dominant queen, populating the colony with son and daughter slaves.
5. Egyptian Gerbil Rat
The lesser Egyptian gerbil Rat is the smallest and one of the most widespread Gerbillus Rat species in Egypt. With a total length of 20 cm and weight of about 23g.
The fur on its back is dappled yellow and orange, which acts as camouflage in its sandy, desert habitat, and the underparts are white. The lesser Egyptian gerbil lives in large social groups, with many individuals often sharing the same burrow, and it may also sometimes be found sharing its burrow with other rodents, as well as lizards and toads.
4. The Heavyweight – Bosavi Woolly Rat
The Bosavi woolly rat is a species of rodent that was discovered deep in the jungle of Papua New Guinea in 2009. The species was discovered during the filming of Lost Land of the Volcano, a BBC wildlife documentary, in the extinct volcanic crater of Mount Bosavi, over 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) above sea level.
Believed to be the biggest rat, it is more than 32 inches (81 cm) long (including the tail) and weighs more than three pounds (1.36 kg).
3. Cheesman’s Rat
A medium-sized gerbil, Cheesman’s gerbil is named after the military officer, explorer and ornithologist Colonel Robert Ernest Cheesman. With large, black eyes that are positioned high on its head, giving this small mammal a wide field of vision among all the rat’s types.
Cheesman’s gerbil is found across the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in Iran and Iraq – however, it avoids the oppressive heat of the desert sun by foraging at night.
2. Beware! Rats Teeth Can Chew Anything
Rats are famous for being able to chew through things—soft concrete, wood, plastic, aluminium, and cinder blocks – you name it – nothing can match the awesome teeth power for these rodents.
Their love of chewing is due, in part, to the fact that their teeth never stop growing. In order to keep them from becoming too long, making eating impossible, rats must constantly gnaw to wear down their teeth.
1. Mischief, Bucks and Does
A group of rats is called a mischief. In addition, male rats are called Bucks, while females are referred to as Does.
Male rats are nearly always larger than females, often growing to as much as twice the size of a small female. Their fur will feel a little coarser and sometimes look a bit unkempt, they can also have a musky odour sometimes.
Whereas, Does are smaller than bucks and have much smoother well-kept fur. They do feel softer to stroke and are often chosen as pets for younger children mainly for this reason.