Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Day 109 - Rambunctious Rats

Hi all today's Day 109 and a while ago I was at Staveley Nature Reserve and I saw something that, in the past, has had a lot of bad press but now has a bit better reputation. These furry little critters are something that I love to watch clean up what the birds have left behind. Yes, I am talking about the Rat. Here's a video of one I saw that obviously gets to clear up a lot!

Anyway, without further ado, here are the facts:

  • Rats are one of the most social and affectionate animals as they will take care of sick or injured animals in their group. They are one of the only animals that will do this...
  • There might be a reason for this though. They need to keep friends. If they don't then they might get lonely and depressed. Yes, that's right, Rats can actually get depressed if they don't have companions. :-(
  • Rats show feelings very well. When they happy they have been seen to grind their teeth. This is usually followed by their eyes vibrating quickly.
  • Rats don't have very good eyesight, instead they rely on their whiskers to get around and to 'see' what their surroundings are.
  • If anybody tells you that Rats aren't clean animals then show them this facts. Rats are very clean animals. They're even cleaner than cats!
  • Just like Squirrels their tails give them an extremely good sense of balance. This also makes them really good climbers.
  • Rats are very good swimmers and afterwards some have been seen to grind their teeth. As I have mentioned above, if they do this it means they are happy.
  • African Rats are one if the biggest types of Rat. This type of Rat has been trained to detect deadly land-mines. They are small enough as to not set them off but large enough to be distinguished from non-trainable Rats.
  • Rats have lots of folklore and phrases associated with them. There are many sayings such as 'to smell a rat', 'to rat on somebody', 'rat race', 'drowned rat' etc.  
  • A weird bit of folklore surrounds the Rat-King. It seems sometimes rats get their tales knotted together, maybe stuck by poo or blood, yet they are able to survive. There's lots of info if you google rat king.
  • Rats were blamed for the Black Death or bubonic plague in medieval times. This killed a quarter of all the people in Europe. However it wasn't the rats that carried the disease but the fleas that lived on them. The rats did carry the fleas around though so it has been said that rats have been responsible for more deaths than all the wars in history. It's no wonder really they have lots of bad folklore linked to them!
  • However, domesticated rats are very intelligent and social. They can be rewarding pets and form close bonds with humans.
Anyway here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


No comments:

Post a Comment