The most common rats are the black or roof rat and the brown Norway rat. Both species typically live a year or less and can grow in excess of 40 cm.

Rats are significant symbols in a variety of cultures. The rat is the first animal on the Chinese calendar. In the Hindu faith, they are believed to be reincarnated holy men. Western cultures view rats differently: they are considered troublesome and dangerous pests.

Rats are responsible for having been carriers of fleas which spread deadly plagues throughout history. They are still known to be carriers of various diseases. Beyond their reputation as pests, rats are widely used as test subjects within scientific communities. They are particularly helpful in studies concerning physiology and psychology.

Rat Facts