Rats are medium-sized rodents with thin tails that originated in Asia and Australia but now live all over the world. Rattus members are “true rats,” however other rodent genera are also called rats and share many of the same traits. Rats differ from mice in that they are larger, have longer, thinner bodies, and have longer legs.
There are more than 60 species of rat, according to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), and they come in all sizes. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, they are normally 5 inches (12 centimeters) or longer.
The Bosavi woolly rat, which was discovered in 2009 in the jungle of Papua New Guinea (and does not yet have a scientific name), is the largest species. According to CNN, it is roughly the size of a cat, measuring 32.2 inches (82 cm) from nose to tail and weighing around 3.3 lbs. (1.5 kilos). Osgood’s Vietnamese rat is one of the tiniest rats. It usually measures 5 to 7 inches (12 to 17 cm) in length.
Male rats are known as bucks, while female rats are known as does, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Puppies and kittens are the names given to newborns. Mischief is a term used to describe a gang of rats.
Rats can be found on every continent. According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, the rice-field rat can be found in Southeast Asia, the Australian swamp rat can be found in Eastern Australia, and the Norway rat, sometimes known as the brown rat, can be found in every continent except Antarctica.
Because they have taken boats to every country over the past few centuries, the brown and house rats are the most common rodents on the planet. Brown rats prefer temperate climes, whereas house rats prefer warmer climates. They usually reside in areas where humans do. Many rat species dwell in trees as well.
Read more: Monkeys: 10+ Fun Facts!
Rats primarily exist to forage and mate. Although most rats are nocturnal, the brown rat can be seen awake at any time of day or night.
Rats frequently congregate in groups known as packs. When a male and female go off on their own and nest in an area where there isn’t currently a pack, a new pack is created. Brown rats are often led by the pack’s largest male. Other rats’ packs may have numerous dominant males or females.
Norway Rat is a species of rat native to (Rattus norvegicus),
The Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a species of rat native to Norway (Image credit: CDC)
Rats are omnivores, but when meat is available, they prefer it. Humans are the principal food source for house and brown rats. They will rummage through rubbish or eat any food that has been left unguarded.
Rats have also been observed eating grain, insects, water critters such as snails, fish, and mussels, tiny birds, mammals, and reptiles, as well as killing them. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, other rats, such as the Sulawesi white-tailed rat and Hoffman’s rat, prefer vegetarian fares such as seeds and fruits.
Rats construct nests from any material available in the vicinity, including branches, grass, rubbish, and paper, before their children are born. These nests are commonly found in cracks, rotting trees, and structures.
Rats, in general, are prolific procreators. According to Discover Magazine, female rats can mate 500 times in a six-hour period and brown rats can generate up to 2,000 pups in a year. Brown rats can have up to 22 young at a time, while the average is eight or nine. Only one to six babies are born at a time in tropical rats.
According to the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association, offspring weighing 6 to 8 grams (.21 to.28 ounces) are born during a gestation period of 21 to 26 days. The brown rat is ready to breed at three months of age. Rats live for two to three years on average. According to the University of Michigan, the majority of house rats — 91 to 97 percent — die within their first year of existence.
Read more: Pigs: 10 Interesting Facts
According to ITIS, rats are classified as follows:
Animalia is the kingdom of animals.
Bilateria is a subkingdom of the Kingdom of Bilateria.
Chordata is a phylum of insects.
Vertebrata is a subphylum of the phylum Vertebrata.
Gnathostomata is an infraphylum of the phylum Gnathostomata.
Tetrapoda is a superclass of animals.
Mammalia is a class of mammals.
There is a subclass of Theria.
Eutheria is an infraclass.
Rodentia is the order of rodents.
Myomorpha is a suborder of Myomorpha.
Muroidea is a superfamily of plants.
Muridae is a family of insects.
Murinae is a subfamily of the Murinae.
Rattus is a genus of rats.
Among the species are:
Rice-field rat (Rattus argentiventer)
Hoffmann’s Sulawesi rat (Rattus hoffmanni)
Australian swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus)
Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) or brown rat (Rattus rattus rattus rattus rattus rattus
Osgood’s Vietnamese rat (Rattus osgoodi)
House rat (Rattus rattus) or black rat (Rattus rattus)
Rattus xanthurus — Sulawesi white-tailed rat, or Northeastern Xanthurus rat
the state of conservation
The Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes 16 rat species. They are classified endangered because to habitat destruction and declining populations.
Rattus elaphinus is a species of rat (Sula Archipelago rat)
Rattus rattus rattus rattus rattus (Spiny Seram Island rat)
Rattus jobiensis is a species of rat found in the United States (Yapen rat)
Hoogerwerf’s Sumatran rat (Rattus hoogerwerfi)
Rattus palmarum (Zelebor’s Nicobar rat) Rattus palmarum (Zelebor’s Nicobar rat) Rattus palmarum (
Richardson’s Rattus (Glacier rat)
Rattus saturate is a species of rat (Sahyadris forest rat)
Rattus stoicus rattus stoicus rattus s (Andaman rat)
Rattus xanthurus is a species of rat (Northeastern Xanthurus rat)
Miller’s Nicobar rat (Rattus Burrus)
Hainald’s Flores Island rat (Rattus hainaldi)
Rattus lugens is a species of rat (Mentawai Archipelago rat)
Rattus rattus rattus rattus rattus (Sri Lankan mountain rat)
The field rat Rattus ranjiniae (Ranjini’s field rat) is a species of Rattus.
Rattus simalurensis is a species of rat (Simalur Archipelago rat)
Van Deusen’s rat (Rattus vandeuseni)
Read more: Zebra Facts: 10 Interesting Facts!
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, brown and house rats have wiped off a number of animal, bird, and reptile species, particularly on marine islands. They’ve also spread diseases like the bubonic plague among people.
Rats, on the other hand, aren’t all evil. Brown rats are utilized in the research in laboratories. According to the Foundation for Biomedical Research, mice and rats account for 95% of all laboratory animals.
According to Discover Magazine, a rat’s front teeth grow 4.5 to 5.5 inches (11 to 14 cm) each year.
20 Things You Didn’t Know About Rats, according to Discover Magazine
Norway Rats (Internet Center for Wildlife Damage and Management)
Facts About Rats from the US Fish and Wildlife Service