Unique Characteristics of Brown Rats That Aid in Their Survival

Topics: Rat, Brown rat, Olfaction Pages: 2 (716 words) Published: February 25, 2014
Why Have Brown Rats Been Able to Survive in Urban Areas

People call rats many things like: disease carriers, disgusting, pests, flea-bitten and horrid, but the brown rat is actually very interesting as they have been able to survive anywhere because of their amazing skills.

The brown rat which is also known as the Rattus norvegicus, is nocturnal, at night ‘the brown rat’s eyes are small, black and shiny; when a flashlight shines into them in the dark, the eyes of the rat light up like the eyes of a deer.’ Although the brown rat forages in the dark, it is quite ironic that they have poor eyesight; but their excellent sense of smell and taste more than makes up for it, for they can detect even the smallest amount of poison, ‘down to one part per million.’ Besides it’s amazing sense of taste and smell, the brown rat is as agile as a squirrel, they can climb very well especially with it’s strong front paws, which are equipped with long claw-like nails, it’s rear paws are apparently even stronger and longer! It is also an excellent swimmer because of it’s paws as it can survive in rivers, bays sewer streams and toilet bowls; brown rats have two front incisors which are long, sharp and yellow, similar to buckteeth. When it bites, it’s front two teeth spread apart but when it gnaws, a flap of skin plugs the space plugs the space behind it’s incisors so when the brown rat gnaws on indigestible materials like concrete, the shavings don’t go down it’s throat and kill it. Rats always gnaw and nobody knows why, but it is been stated that rats gnaw to limit the length of their incisors, but this is not the case as they wear down naturally. In terms of hardness though, ‘ the brown rats teeth are stronger than aluminum, lead, copper and iron, they are more comparable to steel.’

When the brown rat is not gnawing or eating trash, it digs, anywhere in the city where there is dirt, the brown rat will dig. They dig holes to enter buildings and make nests,...
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