Many members of other genera and families of rodents can also be called rats since they share several features like that of rats that were true. They’re different from mice and must be confused together. Rats are big muroid rodents while mice are little muroid rodents. Muroid family is a really intricate family and the terms mice and rat aren’t taxonomically relevant.
These species are generally called Old World rats or true rats and they originated in Asia. They are larger than Old World mice that weigh barely 500 grams. The term rat is also used for some tiny animals that aren’t true rodents for instance, kangaroo rats, bandicoot rats as well as North American pack rats. They’re also rodents but don’t belong to the genus Rattus. Males are called bucks, unmated females are called as does and the pregnant females are called dams. The young ones are called kitten or pups. A group of rats can be termed as pack or mischief. In certain developed countries the domesticated rat species have been kept as pets in homes. R. norvegicus is usually kept as pet and it originated in China and spread to Europe and finally in the New World. Pet brown rats are also called fancy rats.
The usual species behave as commensals as they live human environment. Such cause enormous harm of the stored food items. Many species of black and brown rats have become endangered because of loss of natural habitats. Wild rats are known to be carriers of a range of parasites and pathogens like Toxoplasma gondii. Specially bred species have been kept as pets since the 19th century. Pet species don’t cause any type of damage to other pet animals like dogs and cats.
With the publication of Rat Genome Sequence Brown Rat is now an extremely useful genetic tool. Domestic species differ from wild ones in many of ways. They are calm and barely bite and have the ability to tolerate crowding into a larger extent. Collars are consumed as food by people and occasionally eaten in emergency conditions too. Bandicoot rodents are the famous foods of several Southeast Asian locations. Their meat is a fantastic source of protein. Rattus rattus and the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis are extremely notorious for their distinguished role in the transmission of bubonic plague.
They have a unique role in both faith and culture. In India it is regarded as the vehicle of Lord Ganesh. Their statue is always located at the Ganesh temple. In the Chinese culture it’s first of the twelve animals of Chinese zodiac. European institution with rats is strongly negative. Rats act as substitute for vulgar interjections from the English Language. They’ve been despised as they act as vectors for a range of disease causing agents and have filthy habits. One of the famous stories about rats is The Pied Piper of Hamelin where a rat catcher saved the town from rats with the magic tune of his flute. The genus Rattus presently comprises 64 species.
They are both beneficial and harmful.