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Latest Rat Stories

2012-01-26 12:10:27

It comes as a surprise to many that male house mice produce melodious songs to attract mates.  Unfortunately for us, because the melodies are in the ultra-sonic range human ears cannot detect them.  Through spectrographic analyses of the vocalizations of wild house mice, researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna  have found that the songs of male mice contain signals of individuality and kinship.  Their results appear in the journal Physiology &...

Ion Channel Makes African Naked Mole-Rat Insensitive To Acid-Induced Pain
2011-12-21 04:54:27

Researchers of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch have found out why the African naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber), one of the world´s most unusual mammals, feels no pain when exposed to acid. African naked mole-rats live densely packed in narrow dark burrows where ambient carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are very high. In body tissues, CO2 is converted into acid, which continuously activates pain sensors. However, naked mole-rats are an...

Rat Frees Trapped Cagemate In New Experiment
2011-12-09 07:59:05

While being referred to as a rat usually has negative connotations, a new study from the University of Chicago has revealed that rodents could be actuaally be generous and empathetic to their fellow creatures. According to a Thursday article by David Brown of the Washington Post, researchers at the university were attempting to find out whether or not one rat would release another from "an unpleasantly restrictive cage" if it had the opportunity. The answer, as it turns out, was yes. As...

2011-12-07 11:32:25

An attentive, nurturing mother may be able to help her children better resist the temptations of drug use later in life, according to a study in rats conducted by Duke University and the University of Adelaide in Australia. A rat mother's attention in early childhood actually changes the immune response in the brains of her pups by permanently altering genetic activity, according to Staci Bilbo, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke, who led the research. High-touch...

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2011-12-05 21:13:26

Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) live in a 'hive' society with one reproducing queen and between one and three reproducing males. The rest of the mole rats in the colony are workers either defending the burrow or finding food — not an easy task when you are virtually blind and all the tunnels smell of mole rat. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that mole rat sperm has become simple and degenerate, probably due to...


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
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.