Rats are medium-sized rodents with long tails. Not to be confused with mice, rats are generally bigger than a mouse, although there is no taxonomical specification with the terms. There are over 56 different species of rats in the world!
- Rats are also associated with the extinction of some native species of birds, reptiles, and small mammals, especially on oceanic islands. Both species have been carriers of 40 human diseases, including the bubonic plague and food poisoning in the past.
- A rat can have up to 20 babies at a time.
- Some cultures still eat rat meat, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Ghana, Vietnam, and Laos.
- In medical practice, the brown rat has been helpful in genetic, medical, and biological lab research and experiments worldwide. This research has helped maintain and improve human health through new and innovative treatments.
- Rats may not have gallbladders or tonsils, but they do have belly buttons!
- Rats have been used to detect landmines and diagnose tuberculosis because of their great sense of smell.
- Chuck E. Cheese was originally a rat! His change was made in 1997 for publicity reasons.
- Scientists have determined that rats dream while sleeping.
- The brown rat most likely originated in Asia, reaching Europe during the mid-1500s. Its population rapidly increased in North America around 1750.
- The house rat originated in rural India.
- Some homes keep some rat species as pets.
- Many rats exhibit arboreal traits (the ability to climb and live on trees).
- Most rats are excellent swimmers, and sometimes they forage in aquatic environments.