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.
- "Rodents of Unusual Size" are noted in The Princess Bride.
- The British sci-fi television series, Doctor Who, featured the Fourth Doctor being pursued in the London sewers by a giant rat in the 1977 serial The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
- In "Rat Movie: Mystery of the Mayan Treasure" (2014), a giant rat is depicted as making all of the rules. This giant rat, when killed, is immediately replaced by another nearby rat. The giant rat decides upon what sorts of trouble all of the other rats will get into.
- In "Rat Movie 2: The Movie" (2015), a giant rat is a main character who is tasked with saving the world.
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