Talk:Brown rat

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see as well as even older "HOAX map removed" discussion on this page

also see the comments on the edits and reverts in

Average Length of the Brown Rat[edit]

According to Wildscreen Arkive (, the average length of the brown rat is 31.5 - 48 cm, while this article states that the average length of the brown rat is 25 cm long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robii707 (talkcontribs) 19:38, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

Maximum size[edit]

In light of the recent find in Sweden of a brown rat with a body size of 39,5 cm this sentence may be too harsh:

"Stories of rats attaining sizes as big as cats are exaggerations, or misidentifications of other rodents, such as the coypu and muskrat."

The source is an Swedish online newspaper so perhaps it needs further verification, but from the images it would seem like a Brown rat of catlike size.

Link: (talk) 13:18, 26 March 2014 (UTC)Hakim Ghoula

(I know this is a year old, but forgive my comment necromancy...) That's still far from cat sized. I keep rats - I've only twice had rats that size in three decades of owning them in groups of up to 16. And pet rats are significantly longer and heavier, on average, than wild ones. The expectation is for a 450-500g buck and a 350-400g doe. An 800+g pet buck is generally regarded as enormous, So to find a wild rat of that size is beyond rare.
Similarly, the article also says the maximum litter size is 14, and I know of several litters exceeding that. Two of my rats came from a litter of 18; all kittens survived, and 17 of them were does! Well nourished and cared for rats can be prodigious in size and offspring compared with their wild brethren. So if it's rare in domestic breeding, it's probably even rarer in the wild.
AndyRatchick (talk) 10:58, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree this is too harsh. 40cm body length is extremely large for a rat and many cat bodies are of this length. See also evidence including photographs at Billysugger (talk) 01:28, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

HOAX map removed[edit]

The map of rat range is a complete hoax, its problems noted above in this thread back in 2011. Yes, there are rats in the province of Alberta, Canada. No, there are no rats in the Sahara desert or the Himalayas. We've been hoaxed. Do not restore! Carrite (talk) 16:47, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

I restored the map, dingleballs. THERE ARE NO BROWN RATS IN ALBERTA! It's true - deal with the reality. We killed them all years ago, with extreme brutality involving poison, shotguns, high explosives and incendiary devices. Any rat that steps across the border dies a grim and painful death, and all the citizens enjoy it because they get first whack at rat-flattening. The rats are gone, and we are not letting them back in. There are big surly men in pickups with 12-gauge shotguns waiting for any rat foolish enough to stray across the border, and they take their job seriously. If the shotguns don't work, the poisons, explosives, and Tiger torches come out. If they can't get the rats out of your house any other way, they'll blow up your house, set fire to the ruins, and shoot any rat that runs for it. If you get in their way, they will charge you with "Harbouring a Rat" and fine you $5000. The Liberals might object to all of this, but there are darn few Liberals left in Alberta, either. RockyMtnGuy (talk) 18:26, 26 March 2014 (UTC)
I re-restored the map after checking the details. It's accurate. There are no permanent Norway rat colonies anywhere in Alberta and if the government found any, they would kill all the rats. We have bushy-tailed woodrats here, but those aren't true rats, nor are our kangaroo rats. OTOH, I've trekked through the Himalayas, and I'm pretty sure there are are brown rats there, because there are far too many people up there, they don't control pests, and their garbage management is awful. I can't really say about the Sahara, but odds are where there are people there (and there are), they probably have rats living in their houses. But here in Alberta? No, we don't have no stinkin' rats. RockyMtnGuy (talk) 18:12, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I also don't know where the map make got the idea that Iceland was rat free. Parts of Reykjavík are famously rat-infested as has occasionaly been covered in the media. --Bjarki (talk) 16:28, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Iceland should be colored red, too. From what I read, rats were introduced to Iceland by trading ships in the 18th century, in addition to which Reykjavik had a bad infestation of rats after World War II when Allied ships introduced many more rats. Alberta is still rat free because it is landlocked, has no sea ports, and was settled very late in modern history. It took rats centuries to get there overland from Eastern Canada, and when they arrived the Alberta government invoked legislation which forced people to report and/or kill any rats they saw. There are few other places with such drastic legislation, besides which Albertans are very keen on killing rats themselves to preserve their rat-free status.RockyMtnGuy (talk) 21:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
And, Greenland should be colored red, as well. A source I read said the brown rat reached there by ship in 1780. Of course, it's only going to be found in the coastal towns and not on the Greenland ice sheets.RockyMtnGuy (talk) 23:00, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Adding to the Article[edit]

Using the following sources, I plan on contributing information about the mating cycles of rats and how ejaculations for males occur in intervals and are most effective when done in series; also discuss how females take turns mating and female preferences for different characteristics in males, such as novelty, recent sexual activity, odor, and dominance + social stressor in adolescence. Any advice/feedback is welcome!

Galef BG, Lim TCW, Gilbert GS. 2008. Evidence of mate choice copying in Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus. Animal Behavior Vol 75 (3) 1117-1123

McClintock MK, Anisko JJ, Adler NT. 1982. Group mating among Norway rats II. The social dynamics of copulation: Competition, cooperation, and mate choice. Animal Behavior Vol. 30 (2) 410-425.

McClintock MK, Anisko JJ. 1982. Group mating among Norway rats I. Sex differences in the pattern and neuroendocrine consequences of copulation. Animal Behavior 30 (2) 398-409

Ventura-Aquino E, Banos-Araujo J, Fernandez-Gausti A, Parades RG. 2016. An unknown male increases sexual incentive motivation and partner preference: Further evidence for the Coolidge effect in female rats. Physiology & Behavior 158: 54-59.

Davis HN, Connor JR. 1980. Brief report: Male modulation of female reproductive physiology in Norway rats: effects of mating during postpartum estrus. Behavioral and Neural Biology 29(1): 128-131

Miller N. 1911. Reproduction in the Brown Rat (Mus Norwegicus). The American Naturalist. 45 (538): 623-635.

Brooks JE, Bowerman AM. 1971. Estrogenic Steroid Used to Inhibit Reproduction in Wild Norway Rats. The Journal of Wildlife Management. 35 (3) 444-449.

Woodside B, Wilson R, Chee P, Leon M. 1981. Resource Partitioning during Reproduction in the Norway Rat. The American Association for the Advancement of Science. 211 (4477) 76-77.

McCormick CM, Cameron NM, Thompson MA, Cumming MJ, Hodges TE, Langett M. 2017. The sexual preference of female rats is influenced by males' adolescent social stress history and social status. Hormones and Behavior. 89: 30-37.

Gilbert AN, Rosenwasser AM, Adler NT. 1985. Timing of parturition and postpartum mating in norway rats: Interaction of an interval timer and a circadian gate. Physiology & Behavior. 34 (1): 61-63. Ags5930 (talk) 03:24, 17 February 2017 (UTC)