The Rattus Rat

Topics: Plant, Africa, Human, The Animals, Insect, United States / Pages: 3 (603 words) / Published: Oct 11th, 2017
Black Rat Biology Honors Paper

The Rattus Rattus (black rat) is one of the most problematic invasive species in the world. Covering 80% of all archipelagos and are found on six continents. Black rats are mainly found on tropical islands such as the Galapagos, Hawaii and most of the islands in Central America. Rats prefer to live in areas filled with forests and shrubland, but can live on minimal vegetation. Scientists have been able to exterminate this invasive species from most temperate and sub Atlantic islands because of the climate. The climate on these islands allow for crops to be grown for half the year, leaving the other half of the year without any crops. Most of the rat population without a food source for half a year would die off leaving a smaller population. On tropical islands, trees produce fruit and crops that are able to grow all year due to the exceptional weather.
Black rats were thought to have originated from England but after recent cellular studies show that they originated from Southeast Asia and India (Harper, 2004) (Gillespie, 2015). The rat was spread to England and the Arabian Peninsula, 4,000 years BP through human migration (Harper, 2015). The
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Some of the damage the rats cause is the disruption of pollination. The rats eat the seeds and seedlings of plants, preventing the possibility of new growth. Many types of palms and shrubs on Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean have gone extinct. The seeds of the palm trees were recently discovered to have been gnawed on by rats (Dobson, 2006). Rats are capable of destroying 30% of crops annually (Rattus, 2017). Aside from seeds, rats also prey native snails, beetles, spiders, moths, stick insects, and cicadas (Rattus, 2017). As a result of the rats preventing the pollination of plants, animals have suffered from the rats. Many animals have become endangered and

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