15 Interesting Facts About Rodents

Rats are beautiful creatures & their significant contribution to the environment's sustainability is even more. People tend to kill them as they suffer from musophobia & the fact they're cursed in some cultures. Instead of killing them brutally, effective population prevention measures should be taken to control their populations. This can help limit the risks they pose to public health and safety. Following are 15 facts about rats that everyone should know:

1. Prolific Breeders

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Rats are certainly prolific breeders, but to what extent? It can be estimated that they can produce up to 2,000 descendants in a year, just with a single pair. They become sexually mature in under nine weeks. Despite this, only a few survive and grow into adults since many are malnourished and others are vulnerable to predation.

2. Resilient Adaptability

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Many people might not know that rats are highly adaptable creatures. They can thrive in various environments, from urban cities to rural areas. According to one study, a rat can fall as far as 50 feet and land unharmed. This is because smaller animals tend to be stronger than their body weight. 

3. Intelligence

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Rats are intelligent animals and can memorize a path with just a few turnarounds. They also have the capability of problem-solving and learning complex tasks. Certain experiments have been conducted on them to analyze it & the results are shocking. Due to their excellent moment awareness and memory, they can navigate complex environments without getting lost. 

4. Disease Carriers

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This blessing-in-disguise species is used to research different diseases. Rats can also transmit other diseases to humans through their urine, droppings, and bites, including leptospirosis, monkeypox, and hantavirus. Their bites can cause severe infections and, in some cases, lead to death. Therefore, one should maintain cleanliness and a safe distance from them.

5. Role in Ecosystems

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The role of rats in an ecosystem is significant. Although there are different theories about their creation, one suggests that God sent them to Earth as a punishment for untidiness. Rats feed on insects, garbage, dead birds, and leftovers in the environment. They also act as predators' food, and without them, natural ecosystems may be disrupted.

6. Lifespan

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An average lifespan for a tame one is typically around 2-3 years. However, they may live up even more with proper care and nutrition. On the contrary, Wild rats have a much shorter lifespan than domesticated ones and usually only live about 1-2 years. Because they either die of harsh climate conditions or become prey in the wild.

7. Chewing Behavior

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The primary reason humans dislike this species is its habit of damaging property. But what if I tell you they constantly need to gnaw on objects to control the growth of their teeth? Yes, they gnaw on different objects from time to time to avoid their teeth from overgrowing and sharpening the frontal incisors.

8. Nocturnal Creatures

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Rats are highly nocturnal animals, most active at night and living underground all day. Apart from being nocturnal, they are masters at keeping out of our sight. They come out at night to look for food and explore their surroundings for security. Once they find food, they'll get into cover before enjoying their meal.

9. Social Structure

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Like other animal species, these creatures live together in social groups but with more complex hierarchies & communication systems. They live like that to encourage cooperative behaviors for identifying food sources & for backup when in danger. Also, rats can communicate through touch, smell, and sound frequencies that we cannot hear. Stronger ones lead the group, while the weaker ones obey the orders. 

10. Genetic Sequence

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The genetic and physiological structure of rats is similar but not completely identical to humans. This is why they have been used for medical research for decades. Different drugs are tested on an experimental group to understand their immune response and metabolic reactions. About 31 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to studies conducted on them.

11. Physical Abilities

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Have you ever wondered how these mini creatures quickly escape before our eyes? Their flexible bodies and collapsible rib cages allow them to squeeze through small openings and gaps. They use their long tails to balance objects against gravity, allowing them to climb up difficult paths and seek cover from predators. 

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12. Sense of Smell

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Animals have different skills given to them by God for their survival. Rats have a keen sense of smell that can help them become aware of their predators' presence. It is also used to locate food sources and navigate their surrounding environment. They have pretty strong-smelling abilities. According to research, rats have approximately 1200+ olfactory receptor genes.

13. Swim Experts

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Regarding swimming, rats possess agile jumping, breathing, and survival skills. It is said that a rat flushed down a toilet can survive swimming there and still come back just as fine. They can control their breathing underwater for three minutes straight. This often leads to problems for aquatic life since rats seek small fishes and their eggs for food. 

14. Unable To Vomit

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Our digestive system works the same as that of other mammals, including rats. When we eat something rotten or stale, our body tries its best to perform an anti-peristalsis movement. However, rats cannot puke out food despite consuming stale food, garbage, and animal remains. This is because, inside their mouths, there is a barrier that prevents food from coming back.

15. Emotions Filled Organism

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Most humans are unaware that rats can laugh, too. But they laugh completely differently to us; even if they laugh near us, we might fail to understand. They produce a chirping sound in a high-pitched tone, which we won't be able to listen to due to its high frequency. Rats are emotion-filled organisms that can depict various emotions.

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