Name: Rat 

Scientific Name: 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

Other ZooLab fluffies:

  • Gerbils

  • Rabbits

  • Pygmy hedgehogs

  • Guinea pigs

  • Degus

  • Mice