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Rats

Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus. Many members of other rodent genera and families are also referred to as rats, and share many characteristics with true rats.

Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size; rats are generally large muroid rodents, while mice are generally small muroid rodents.

Brown Rat

Rattus norvegicus

Appearance

Brown Rat


•  Up to 40 cm in length, with a tail shorter than the head and body.

•  350 500g in weight.

•  Blunt nose, small ears and a thicker body when compared to the Black Rat (Rattus rattus).



Lifecycle

•  7 8 young per litter; 3 6 litters a year.

•  Gestation period of about 3 weeks.

•  10 12 weeks from birth to sexual maturity.

Habits

•  Usually ground living and burrowing, but sometimes climbs. The only species to occur in sewers in the UK.

•  Preferred food is cereals.

•  Will eat around 30g of food a day and drink 60ml.

Black Rat

Rattus rattus

Appearance

Black Rat


•  16 24 cm in length, with a tail longer than the head and body.

•  150 200g in weight.

•  Pointed nose, large ears and a slender body when compared to the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus).



Lifecycle

•  5 10 young per litter; 3 6 litters a year.

•  Gestation period of about 3 weeks.

•  12 16 weeks from birth to sexual maturity.

Habits

•  Rare in the UK. Appearance confined mainly to ports.

•  Often climbs, agile, rarely burrowing and rarely outdoors in the UK.

•  Preferred food is moist fruits.

•  Will eat around 15g of food a day and drink 15ml.