Rat facts and information:Scientific Name: Rattus Rattus
Size: 20-50cm (7.8-19.7in)
Weight: 200-900g (0.4-2lbs)
Top Speed: 13km/h (8mph)
Life Span: 2-5 years
- The most distinctive difference between rats and mice is their size. Rats tend to be much larger than mice and it is because of this that new rodent species that are discovered are easily classified as rats or mice.
What does a rat look like?Rats tend to exhibit many of the same characteristics of other rodents. The two front teeth are large and continue to grow throughout the rat's life. As a result, rats engage in constant gnawing, which causes considerable damage to homes. Rats bear fur that is more prevalent on the body than on the ears and tail. They possess four legs and are capable of standing upright on their two back legs.
Where do rats live?The two most common species of rat are the black rat and the brown rat. Both species of rat are found in all parts of the world. The rat is generally found in small, dark places and is thought to have originated in Asia before migrating across countries and being accidental passengers on human voyages. The rat is now one of the most widely spread and adaptable animals in the world.
What does a rat eat?Rats are omnivorous animals and eat a mixture of plant and animal matter in order to get all the right nutrients. Rats are known to eat almost anything and the high rubbish levels in cities, as given way to a new generation of over sized super rats. The large rats are much bigger than the average rat and are more dominant in their environment meaning that the smaller rat species tend to suffer as a consequence.
What are the natural enemies of the rat?In the wild, rats are preyed upon by many different animals including snakes, wildcats and birds of prey. In some cultures rats are hunted and eaten as food by humans. The bandicoot rat is a stable and popular food source in parts of Southeast Asia but it is thought that the eating of rats has not become popular elsewhere due to the eating of rats being socially acceptable in other cultures.
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