Sunday, 29 April 2007

Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Adult Brown Rat (subspecies R. n. norvegicus) at Geddington, Northants - May 2012

OTHER NAMES: Common Rat, Street Rat, Wharf Rat, Norwegian Rat
Featured Subspecies: Rattus norvegicus norvegicus
Length: 38-50cm
Weight: 230g

A very adaptable and highly misunderstood creature - rats a very intelligent and expert survivors that have spread around the world with humans. They can be found in a broad range of habitats, although perhaps the most visible ones are urban ones where they are able to survive using food that humans leave. Originally reaching the UK aboard ships, it displaced the Black Rat which had reached the country first, making the latter more scarce. They were not responsible for the Bubonic Plague, but, may in theory carry other diseases. As with this individual photographed, perhaps the easiest time to see them is when they raid bird tables.

Related Species:
Order: Rodentia 
Family: Muridae 
Genus: Rattus 
SUBSPECIES: R. n. norvegicus, R. n.caraco, R. n. praestans, R. n. primarius, R. n. socer

- Sighting Locations -

UNITED KINGDOM - A common but usually shy resident
 - Seen at various sites including Geddington and Rutland Water

Further Notes: RSPB, WikipediaBirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, ArkiveIUCN Red List

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