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Brown Rats And Their Many Names

How many times have you been tempted to count brown rats and sewer rats as two distinct rat species? This common misconception is due to the fact that brown rats do not really appear to be brown -- they are usually grey, with the brown color only appearing in spots (but in some cases, the brown color does not appear at all, instead, the spots are black). Nonetheless, brown and sewer rats actually refer to the same specie; in fact, the real name of these rodents is Norway Rats. Interesting enough? Well, these rats are not only controversial because of their names; the most appalling reason why they are popular is because of the damage that they can make. But we will not talk about these damages and the other harms can these rodents can do. This article will be all about brown rats, being animals with interesting facts.

Brown Rat Traits

If there is anything that is most remarkable about brown rats is their ability to survive in all sorts of environments. They can survive in farmlands, in towns, in cities, in the streets, inside houses or buildings -- anywhere at all! The only common denominator in all these places is human presence. But let us not be confused here, brown rats do not like to be associated with humans, in fact, they do not want to have interaction with us as much as it is possible. So, we ask, why do they live among humans? Simple. For rats, man's trash is their treasure! Throw away some peelings from yesterday's meal and that is food for them; store unused clothing then don't remember that you have these items for years and the rats would use that opportunity to use your clothes to sharpen their teeth. Cunning, right? These traits make brown rats very well adapted to their environments, no matter how "dangerous" these environments are for them.

Migratory Patterns

As we have already established, brown rats are very much dependent to humans. Having known that, it is easier for us to understand why their migratory pattern is very much co-related to the migratory patterns of humans; and just like humans, brown rats have also managed to reach different parts of the world! They are now present in Asia, in US, in Europe and even in Africa. Some of them learned to live in cold areas while the rest adapted to tropical climates. Indeed, these animals are most likely to not become extinct in the next thousand years.

Origins and History

Brown rats are given the scientific name "Rattus norvegicus"; although their real origins are quite difficult to reconcile, based on their scientific name, it can be deduced that these rats might have come from Norway and from there, started to spread all throughout Europe and then to the rest of the world. To date, no scientific evidence have been found to really establish a clear and definitive stand as to where these rats have truly originated from, although one thing is quite sure -- they originally started to breed in Asia and only managed to cross over seas through trading Asian ships which go to different places around the world.

Perhaps the best explanation why these rats are somehow named after a European country is because it is only in these places where the effects of their infestation really became apparent. Brown rats are most fond of wheat and barley which are the main farm goods in these places. The diet of brown rats is mostly starch and protein, two things which are definitely found in the farms in Norway and the rest of Europe. They are excellent foragers too, thus, they are able to scour for these things even outside the context of farms.
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