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Rat species

Rat Species

Rats are animals that are found all over the world.

There are many species of rats that exist. As compared to mice rats are much bigger in size. The black rat is the most common breed amongst all rats. Rats are domesticated and even bred for scientific experiments.

The domesticated rats fall under the species of Norway rats or brown rats. The domestic rat is also known by some other names such as Dumbo and Rex Rats, hairless and Berkshire, platinum and tailless. Domesticated rats are not as aggressive as the wild ones and even lesser prone to diseases because of inbreeding for many generations. The domesticated rat can even be taught many tricks and certain mannerisms.

There are several types of wild rats and some of them are: mole rats, wood rats, bandicoot, wistar, fisher and sprague dawley rats.

Rats are tiny animals so it is difficult to distinguish the breeds as many of them look similar however if you look carefully you will be able to see the difference. A few simple ways to identify the different rat species are by visibly noticing their coat color, size, tail length, head shape, leg length and ear placement. The domestic rat is smaller in size and has a longer tail. The roof rat which grows about 7 to 8 inches long has a 9 inch long tail and is slightly brown in color and the tail is scaled and dark in color. The wood rat grows about 6 to 8 inches in length. Its tail is hairy and has two colors. Its ears are large and its coat is grayish-brown. The Cotton Rat is 5 to 7 inches long has a scaly and shorter tail, which is lighter at the end. It also has grey black fur and is larger and the ears are covered with fur. The most common or Norway rat is larger in size. The head to body size is about 8 to 10 inches with a small head and short 4 to 8 inches tail. The tail is hairless and scaly and dark above lighter at the end. Its fur coat is brownish gray near the head and neck and gray at the bottom. The ears are relatively small with short hair. Some of the other not so common rat types include Bomean Musk, Hutia, Crested-tailed Marsupial, Central Rock, San Quintin Kangaroo, Madagascan, Wambenger, Naked Tail, Sinifex, Brush-tailed Marsupial, Rice Rat, Central Rock and Rhim. You will need to talk to a vet before you decide on a specific type of rat.

  Submitted on August 6, 2010  

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