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Rat


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The rat is a small rodent. Rats are found worldwide in almost every type of environment. They are related to mice, but are usually larger. Rats have powerful teeth and can gnaw through very hard materials. Some rats are nocturnal (most active at night). Rats have a life span of about a year in the wild and breed often during their short life.

Anatomy: Rats range in size from 6 to 23 inches (15 to 58 cm) long plus a long tail, 3 to 18 inches (8-46 cm) long. They weigh from 5 ounces to 15 pounds (142 g to 7 kg). The coarse coat color ranges from white to brown to gray. Rats have a pointed snout with long whiskers, rounded ears, and a long tail. Like other rodents, the rat's front teeth continue to grow throughout its life. Rats must gnaw on hard things to wear these teeth down.

Diet: The rat is an omnivore; it will eat almost anything, but mostly eats plants. It eats seeds, grains, grasses, nuts, fruit, vegetables, eggs, and small animals (like worms, insects, arachnids, etc.).

Predators: Many animals kill rats, including cats, dogs, hawks, owls, weasels, raccoons, snakes, skunks, and people.

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