Although there are many different species of rats on earth, the one most people associate with the word are Norway or Brown rats.
The Norway rat and the Roof rat are the two main species of house rat. Two of them originated in Asia and have spread throughout the world by human travel overseas.
Mice are typically distinguished from rat by their size. Mice are generally small muroid rodents while rats are generally large muroid rodents.
A group of rats is called a mischief.
Rats can live for up to 18 months but most of them die before they are one year old.
An adult rat can squeeze into our homes through a very small hole (as small as the size of a quarter).
Rats have poor vision, they are colorblind. They also dont have thumbs. They primarily see light, shadow and movement.
Rats are omnivores but they dont have canine teeth.
According to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, the teeth of a rat are harder than steel or iron. This is why they are easily able to gnaw through substances like wood, wire, glass, and cinderblock.
A rats teeth are yellow upon maturity (this is a rodent characteristics) but they dont stop growing until the animals death.
Rats are highly social animals, they enjoy playing and cuddling with other rats. And if a member of the group is injured or becomes sick they will care for it.
Without companionship, rats tend to become lonely and depressed.
Rats are considered more intelligent than mice, rabbits, gerbils, hamster and guinea pigs.
A rat can go longer than camel without water.
Rats have very developed senses of hearing, touch, taste and smell. Their hearing is ultrasonic. Touch is via their long whiskers.
Rats use high-frequency sounds to communicate with each other.
Rats have bellybutton, but they dont have gallbladders.
Rats dont perspire. Rats maintain the body temperatures by expanding and contracting the blood vessels in their tails.
Rats cant vomit, and they dont have tonsils.
Rats can eat chocolate.
Like human, most rats are right-handed.
The white rat is actually an albino strain of the Norway rat.
Rats have excellent memory. Once these animals learn a road path, they will never forget it.
A rat can fall 15 meters without being injured.
Rats can sniff out bombs and landmines and identify tuberculosis; these intelligent creatures can be used in search and rescue.
Rats are considered as a sign of good luck by the Romans.
Rats have been used as food for pets and people, laboratory animals, religious icons, mine detectors, pets, animals used in sports and some have also been trained to drag wires through walls so that certain electricians jobs can be made so much faster.
These scavengers are also responsible for spreading Bubonic Plague (or also called the Black Death). Actually fleas are primarily responsible for this as they were originally infected with the disease by feeding on the blood of rats.
Rats are routinely fed and worshiped in the Karni Devi, a temple in India. During the plague years, thousand of these wild rats never gave any of thier worshipers infected Bubonic fleas belief is that since rats are territorial, they defended the area against invading rats that carried the diseases.
Albino rats in the Karni Devi are believed to be the incarnations of the Goddess Durga, whereas the normal colored rats are considered to be the incarnations of deceased followers of Karni Mata.
Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoan parasite, and rats who become infected with this disease will suffer a change in their brain chemistry and cause them to become attracted to the scent of felines (rather than naturally fearful of them).
Red discharge from a rats eyes or nose is not blood, but porphyrin. It is produced in glands behind the eyes of the rat. Unlike blood, porphyrin is fluorescent under UV light. Overproduction of this discharge can be caused by illness or stress.
It is unlikely we will ever catch rabies from a rat.
The oils in cedar and pine are toxic to rats.
The largest rats are the African giant pouched rats.
The ancient Romans didnt distinguish mice and rats but instead called them Rattus Minor (little rat) and Rattus Major (big rat).