10 interesting facts about rats

RatA small number of animals inspire more fear than rats. As a symbol of death and disease, they haunt us in nightmares, and climb the walls, dragging its scaly tail.
The annual damage in the billions of dollars and are the cause of plague, spoilage of food products, wiring and even bite babies in cribs. But at the same time, we can not underestimate the benefit to mankind. We offer you some interesting facts about our nasty neighbors in the animal world.
Norway rats
While the world there is many species of rats, the majority of people they are associated with only one kind – a Norwegian brown rat, which comes from China. The largest representatives of this species can weigh up to 1 kg. These rats flooded cities such as New York, where they number from 100 000 to 100 million individuals, and London, where they took possession of almost every corner, and this situation around the world. They do not occur except in the Arctic, Antarctic, Alberta, Canada and New Zealand marsupial. White albino rats used in laboratories and contained as pets are domesticated members of this species.
The black rat
In the struggle for the survival of brown rats greatly reduced the population of black rats, and these days prefer the black rat is mainly tropical habitats. However, many years ago, they held sway in Europe until they are replaced by brown rats. That black rats are carriers of the Black Plague. Fleas that live in the fur of rats carry dangerous bacteria and infect millions of unsuspecting victims. Black rat – an excellent “climber” and that the rats are ruining many bird nests around the world. At the moment, black rats inhabit New Zealand. Unlike their cousins the brown and black rats can dramatically increase its population, especially during harvest, when food is abundant.
Wedding Crashers
Almost impossible to completely protect your home from rats. They are able to penetrate into the holes that are smaller than their own size by 4 times. On the Mohs scale of rat teeth harder than iron and steel, and can easily gnaw through materials such as wood and cinder block. If they are settled in the house, then get rid of them – is not an easy task. Rats are extremely intelligent, and bypass traps with ease. Almost impossible to catch them, and in rat poison has its drawbacks – it is dangerous to children and pets, and even if you succeed, and rat poison, you are of them still can not get rid of, because the rats hide in cracks and walls of the house to there to die. In your house for a long time, will attend the smell of decaying flesh.
Toxoplasma – protozoan parasite whose life cycle is completed in the body of the cat. Other animals can be carriers of it, but only in the body of the cat parasite can ensure its continued existence. The parasite uses a very clever way to find the animal that will be the place of his habitation. The rats, whose brain was infected by a parasite, lose the natural fear of the smell of cats, and more, looking for him. It is not difficult to guess, these rats do not last long. People may also be affected by toxoplasmosis, and by some estimates a third of the world’s population is infected with this parasite. In rare cases, infection leads to death. This infection is especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. For this reason, women are advised to stay away from cat boxes during pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis is associated with certain diseases such as schizophrenia.
High prevalence of rats in the world is not just a good coincidence. They are able to adapt to any environment without much difficulty. Rats are able to do without water for longer than a camel. A rat can fall from the height of the fifth floor and do not get injuries. Rats can survive huge doses of radiation, and about one kilometer swim in open water. In the course of their struggle for survival, they have developed immunity to certain poisons. A huge sewer rats are able to turn an ordinary cat in a stampede.
Bon appetit!
Although many domestic cats eventually lost the ability to hunt rats, for a variety of other animals, rats are an excellent source of food. Owls, hawks, snakes, ferrets, and a family of many large predators feed on rats. Many breeds of dogs specialize in hunting rats in this particular breed of dog has succeeded as a terrier. In many countries, the rats are a source of food for humans. In Africa, China and some countries in Southeast Asia, the rats are eaten. In some countries such as India, there is both a tradition of eating rats in some areas, and worship them as sacred beings in other areas.
Laboratory rats
Do not underestimate the contribution of laboratory rats in research. Scientists have made great strides in medical experiments on rats. It has been inferred for a number of rat strains such as Wistar male rats (Wistar), Sprague Dawley rats (Sprague-Dawley) rats and Long Evans line (Long-Evans), who genetically are close relatives. As a result of genetic experiments failed to bring rats Viobriding (Biobreeding), who suffer from autoimmune diabetes of the first degree, as well as a line of rats Zucker, who are obese. Recently, rats and mice used for tissue engineering, ambiguous scientific experiments will help to grow skin and cartilage transplants for people.
Giant Rat
For those who are afraid of rodents, the Gambian pouched rat would be an absolute nightmare. Externally similar to the Norwegian rat, these rodents reach a weight of 1.5 kg. In Africa, their meat is considered meat of wild animals, but because of their intelligence and accommodating their liking, they are often used to detect mines. Despite the fact that they are the giants on the rat’s standards, they are heavy enough to detonate the mines. Gambian pouched rat has shown itself perfectly to the definition of tuberculosis patients. Examining the patient’s sputum, the rat, in contrast to laboratory studies, may be much earlier to determine the presence of infection. Despite the bad kind, the rat is very friendly and is becoming very popular pet. In the U.S., possession of a rat was banned after it was proven the role of rats in the transfer of monkeypox.
Each year, the rat is able to bring up to five litters of 7-15 pups each. Young rats are ready to continue the kind of after 5 weeks. Under ideal conditions, a pair of rats, in theory, can produce millions of offspring born within a year. This rapid rate of reproduction is the key to the preservation of their species. However, even under the most favorable circumstances, the majority of rats rarely live up to their second birthday. Depending on various environmental factors, the mortality rate of rats in the first few weeks of life may reach 95%.
Rat King
Rat King – this is very strange and unusual phenomenon, when several rats entangled with each other tails. Since the Middle Ages have been found several such examples, but are still doubts about their credibility. Although there is no precise evidence that this phenomenon is inherent only in Germany, but most of these cases occurred in this country. The largest rat king of all known consisted of 32 mummified black rats. It was discovered in the fireplace in the miller Bukheyme in Germany in 1828. Today he is in the Moorish Museum in Oldenburg. Historically, the emergence of rat kings is seen as a bad sign, carrying death and disease.

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