Rats have been around for centuries and have been both feared and revered by humans. But what do you really need to know about them? Here are 10 fascinating facts about rats that will give you a better understanding of these creatures. From their physical characteristics to their behaviour, these ten facts will give you an insight into the world of rats. Whether you’re looking to learn more about these rodents or just satisfy your curiosity, this post will provide you with the information you need to know about rats.
1)There are more than 60 species of rats in the world.
There are over 60 species of rats found throughout the world. These species belong to the family Muridae, which is a diverse group of rodents that includes not only rats but also mice and other similar animals. While many people tend to think of rats as a single species, the truth is that they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Some of the most common species of rats include the black rat, the brown rat, and the Norway rat, all of which are found in many different parts of the world. Additionally, there are many species of rats that are native to specific regions or habitats, such as the desert rat or the cloud rat. Despite their differences, all of these species share many common characteristics, including their sharp teeth, keen senses, and remarkable adaptability.
2) Rats’ teeth never stop growing.
Rats are a part of the rodent family, a diverse group of mammals characterised by their constantly growing incisors. The rodent family includes many species, from mice and rats to beavers and squirrels. Rats (along with other members of the rodent family) can cause significant damage to property due to their need to continuously wear down their teeth to keep them from becoming too long and causing dental problems. They have strong teeth that can gnaw or chew through heavy-duty materials, including wood, brick, cables and even some metals.
3) Rats are excellent swimmers.
Rats are versatile creatures with various physical abilities that help them survive in their natural environments. They are skilled runners and jumpers, enabling them to navigate and leap through their surroundings with impressive agility. Additionally, rats are excellent swimmers, able to paddle and tread water for extended periods and hold their breath for up to three minutes. This allows them to move through aquatic environments and access resources that might otherwise be inaccessible. Beyond these basic physical abilities, rats are also quite intelligent and adaptable creatures, able to solve complex problems and adjust their behaviour to suit their changing circumstances. These factors contribute to the rat’s remarkable success as a species, allowing them to thrive in various habitats worldwide.
4) Rats are social creatures.
Rats are highly social animals that enjoy interacting with other rats, they are known to form close bonds with their companions. In the wild, rats live in large groups called colonies, where they work together to find food, build nests, and protect their territory. Domesticated rats also benefit from having companionship and often become stressed and unhappy when they are kept alone, and rat pet owners are encouraged to keep them in pairs or small groups to ensure that they lead happy, healthy lives.
5) Rats can survive falls from great heights.
Rats can fall from great heights and avoid serious injury due to several factors. One of the most important of these is their small size and lightweight body, which reduces the impact force when they hit the ground. Additionally, rats have a remarkable ability to contort their bodies and adjust their posture in mid-air, allowing them to land in a way that minimizes the potential for injury. This is known as the “cat-righting reflex,” It will enable rats to twist and turn their bodies to land on their feet and distribute the impact of the fall evenly across their body.
Rats can also use their tails as a stabiliser and balance their bodies mid-air, reducing the risk of injury. Finally, studies have suggested that rats may be able to instinctively relax their muscles and go limp when falling, which helps reduce the force of impact and prevent injury. Altogether, these factors combine to make rats surprisingly resilient when falling from heights, allowing them to survive falls that would be fatal to larger animals.
6) Rats have poor eyesight but have a great sense of smell and hearing.
While rats may not rely heavily on their eyesight, as their visual acuity is relatively poor, they make up for this deficiency with their excellent sense of smell and hearing. These senses are so acute that rats can detect odours and sounds that are invisible to humans, which helps them navigate their surroundings and locate food and water sources. Additionally, rats can use their sense of smell to communicate with one another, marking their territory with unique scents and recognising familiar individuals through scent cues. While rats may not have the best vision, their advanced sense of smell and hearing abilities allow them to thrive in various environments.
7) Rats are intelligent creatures and can be trained to do tricks.
Rats are intelligent creatures that are capable of learning and performing a variety of tricks and tasks, from jumping through hoops or running through mazes or playing fetch. In fact, some species of rats, such as the Gambian pouched rat (commonly known as the African giant pouched rat), are trained to use their excellent sense of smell to detect specific scents for specific purposes, such as
bomb detection, drug detection, and disease detection, and they alert their handlers when that scent is found.
8) The average rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a small coin.
The average rat in the UK can squeeze through a hole about 2 cm (0.8 inches) in diameter. Rats are incredibly flexible and can compress their bodies to fit through tight spaces. They can squeeze through holes smaller than their heads and can even flatten their ribcages to narrow themselves. This ability to work through small gaps and cracks is one reason rats are such successful urban and suburban pests, as they can easily access buildings and homes in search of food and shelter. That’s why preventative rodent proofing and sealing up any holes or cracks in your property is essential to prevent rats and other unwanted pests from getting inside.
9) A rat can go without food for longer than a human can.
Rats can survive without food for longer than humans because they have a much faster metabolism, which means that they require less food to survive and can also go for more extended periods without food. Rats can survive for up to two weeks without food, depending on age, health, and activity level. Rats are omnivorous animals that have a diverse diet. In the wild, they will eat various foods, including grains, seeds, fruits, vegetables, insects, and even small animals such as insects, snails, and fish.
10) A group of rats is called a mischief.
A group of rats is called a “mischief” because of their reputation for causing trouble and being mischievous and the problems they can cause if left to cause havoc. The term “mischief” has historically been used to describe a group of animals or people who are up to no good or causing mischief. In the case of rats, this name is particularly fitting because they are known for their ability to cause damage and disruption in various settings. Rats are notorious for their tendency to chew on wires and cables, damage structures with their burrowing, and spread disease through their droppings and bites.
Vergo Pest Management provides an extensive range of proofing to protect properties from rodent infestations. For more information or to discuss a problem with rats, contact us today.