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Latest Rat Stories

Rats Sniff To Communicate Complex Social Information
2013-03-08 09:43:34

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Checking out their environment by sniffing is a common behavior for dogs, cats and a number of other mammals. A new study from Case Reserve University School of Medicine reveals that sniffing also serves as a method of communication in rats. This unexpected discovery may help to identify brain regions critical for interpreting communication cues as well as help identify which brain malfunctions can lead to complex social...

Brain-To-Brain Interface Lets Rats Share Their Thoughts
2013-03-01 09:47:03

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online In an article written earlier this month for redOrbit, this writer highlighted work being done in the Nicolelis laboratory headed by professor of neurobiology Miguel Nicolelis at Duke University School of Medicine. His previous research reported on the ability to enable a rat to “touch” infrared light through the use of a cortical stimulation technique. For the second time this month, the Nicolelis team has released an...

Rat Memory Study Could Open The Door To Treat Alzheimer's Disease
2013-02-27 16:03:14

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Researchers from Indiana University have found that rats have a capacity for “source memory,” a finding that could have implications for both future animal studies and the treatment of human memory disorders. According to the IU team´s report in Current Biology, a rat is capable of remembering how it got a certain food reward. "Researchers can now study in animals what was once thought an exclusively human domain,"...

Women More Talkative Than Men Because Thier Brain Is Designed That Way
2013-02-22 12:17:19

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online We´ve all heard the oft-repeated statistics about women talking more than men. And to back up those statistics, one previous study has shown that a part of the brain responsible for processing communication is simply larger in a woman than a man. Now, a new study adds to those claims by moving a step further, showing that the female brain is actually designed with communication in mind. Performed by doctors at the...

Running The Rat Race: Observing Their Aerobic Capacity
2013-01-16 18:20:11

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online Last month, at the Wellcome Trust´s conference on ℠Rat Genomics and Models´, several different and interesting ongoing studies were presented to all in attendance. One study in particular, out of the University of Michigan (U of M), sought to explain how selectively bred rat models were able to yield both high and low capacity runners (HCR and LCR) and just what the implications, genetically, these models might...

Man’s New Best Friend Is A Rat
2012-12-28 10:45:05

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The dog has been caught unaware by a competitor for man´s affections. And sure, the dog has a strong foothold on its title of ℠Man´s Best Friend´. But this new species angling for the position of top dog and the surreptitious behavior it displays in doing so can only lead one to surmise that this animal is acting, well, like a rat. The reason one might perceive the rat´s march toward domesticity as...

Ecuador To Drop 20 Tons Of Poison On Galapagos To Kill Rats
2012-11-16 07:54:47

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online For decades, conservationists have been vying to protect the native bird and reptile species of the Galapagos Archipelago, many species which are exclusively found here and nowhere else. Now, Ecuadorian conservationists are about to begin an ambitious project to rid the Island group of more than 180 million invasive rats that are damaging the delicate ecosystem. In what is being described as the biggest pest-removal project in...


Latest Rat Reference Libraries

Armored Rat, Hoplomys gymnurus
2012-07-17 14:40:46

The armored rat (Hoplomys gymnurus) is the only species within the Hoplomys genus. It is native to Latin America, with a range that extends from northern Honduras into northwestern Ecuador. It prefers a habitat at altitudes of up to 2,600 feet. It resides in burrows that can be up to 6.6 feet in length, and these burrows are typically located near a water source. The armored rat bears spines across its back, resembling a porcupine, and indeed, they are more related to the porcupine than...

Jamaican Rice Rat, Oryzomys antillarum
2012-07-04 11:09:29

The Jamaican rice rat (Oryzomys antillarum) is an extinct species of rodent that was once found in Jamaica. This rat is thought to have been a divergence of O. couesi, which can be found in mainland Central America. It is thought that this rat went extinct in the late 19th century due to habitat destruction and by predation and competition from introduced species like the mongoose and the brown rat. Elliott Coues noted two specimens of Oryzomys in his 1877 monograph about North American...

Sand Rat, Psammomys obesus
2012-06-20 16:14:18

The sand rat (Psammomys obesus), also known as the fat sand rat, is found in North Africa, as well as the Middle East. Its range extended from Mauritania to the Arabian Peninsula. It prefers habitats within sandy deserts, but it can be found within saline marsh areas and areas with rocky ground. It will burrow under vegetation like saltbushes, where rats can often be found foraging. There are many medical uses for the sand rat. Because of their tendency to get diabetes mellitus when fed a...

Maned Rat, Lophiomys imhausi
2012-05-23 13:57:55

The maned rat (Lophiomys imhausi), also known as the crested rat, has a range that includes Tanzania, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda. It prefers a habitat located in highland forests and woodlands in these areas, while in Somalia and Ethiopia it prefers to reside in areas nearly at sea level. These rats will nest in hollow tree trunks or rocky areas, as well as within cliff-faces. The maned rat can reach a length of up to twenty-one inches, including the tail. The soft undercoat of...

Greater Cane Rat, Thryonomys swinderianus
2012-05-16 12:22:36

The greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus) is one of two species of cane rats found in Africa. They prefer to reside in reed beds or riverbanks south of the Saharan Desert. They have adapted well to urbanization and will also live on plantations. The nocturnal greater cane rat lives in small groups that are led by one alpha male and will make their burrows underground or in grasses. The diet of this cane rat consists of cane plants and grasses. When frightened, the greater cane rat will...

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Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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