The term giant rat has been applied to various species of large rodents. They tend to be native to tropical and sub-tropical locations. Some have flourished in other climates, including the Coypu and the Gambian pouched rat, which have both become invasive species. Giant rats have also figured in popular fiction, where they are often portrayed as monster-like creatures.
By continent and country
The following are examples of giant rats and/or rodents.
Asia and New Guinea
- Flores giant rat
- Mountain giant Sunda rat
- Giant cloud rats
- White-eared giant rats
- Woolly rats
- Large Sumatran bamboo rat
By conservation status
Giant rats in fiction
- The Giant Rat of Sumatra is mentioned in passing in The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire, a Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1924. Doyle referred to the rat's tale as "a [spooky] story for which the world is not yet prepared," and this has given rise to dozens of subsidiary homages, pastiches, and literary references in other works of fiction, which are listed in detail on the Giant Rat of Sumatra page.
- The Rats is a 1974 horror novel by British writer James Herbert in which giant rats are the antagonists.
- A giant rat features in the 1976 science fiction thriller film The Food of the Gods, written, produced, and directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Marjoe Gortner, Pamela Franklin, Ralph Meeker, Jon Cypher, John McLiam, and Ida Lupino. This film was loosely based on a portion of the H. G. Wells novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth.
- Deadly Eyes (Also known as The Rats, Rats and Night Eyes) is a 1982 Canadian film directed by Robert Clouse and loosely based on the horror novel The Rats by James Herbert. The story revolves around giant black rats who threaten the residents of Toronto after ingesting contaminated grain.
- A 1985 The Rats video adventure game for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum was based Herbert's book; it was published by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd and produced by Five Ways Software Ltd.
- Master Splinter is a giant rat in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- "Rodents of Unusual Size" are noted in The Princess Bride.
- "In the MMORPG RuneScape, beginner players can train on giant rats.
- In the Action RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player will encounter giant-like rats known as Skeevers.
- In the Japanese RPG Dark Souls The player will encounter a Giant Rat in the area "The Depths."
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- The Rats at SpectrumComputing.co.uk