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Rattus norvegicus

Classification: Mammal

Lifespan: 2 - 3 years ​ Threats: Large birds of prey and human activity ​ Distribution: The black rat and the brown rat live virtually everywhere that human populations have settled ​ Habitat: Rats nest in burrows but can be found in lofts, attics, under eaves and even in cavity walls. They will shred available materials such as loft insulation, cardboard and other soft items to make nests Appearance: The black rat is between 16–24cm in length, with a tail longer than the head and body. It grows to between 150–200g in weight. They have a pointed nose, large ears and a slender body ​ Diet & Feeding: In the wild, they’ll often feed on grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables ​ Social Behaviour: Rats commonly groom each other and sleep together. Rats are said to establish an order of hierarchy, so one rat will be dominant over another one ​ Males and females: Male rats are nearly always larger than females, often growing to as much as twice the size of a small female. Their fur will feel a little coarser and sometimes look a bit unkempt ​ Number of young: A female producing up to five litters a year. The gestation period is only 21 days, and litters usually number around 7 ​ Interesting fact: Rats are very social and will take care of injured and sick rats in their group

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