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Information about Texas rats

About Texas Rats: Appearance, biology, life cycle, habitat, diet, behavior in Austin TX

Rats are some of the most recognizable creatures on earth. Most live as wild animals in virtually every ecosystem on the planet, but many are domesticated and are used as pets. Rats range from the more recognizable forms, like the North American pack rat to the Kangaroo rat. Male rats are referred to as bucks while females are called does.

Rats range in size from a few inches long to nearly a foot. They most commonly weigh about one pound, but can weigh as much as two and a half.

The rat is most distinguished by its two front teeth that can be quite sharp and allow the critter to easy bite through most substances. Because rats are one of the most purest forms of omnivores, these teeth allow it to bite into virtually any substance, including the flesh of other animals. While the teeth are primarily used as part of eating and digestion, they are also quite formidable weapons for the defense of the animals.
Besides using their teeth for defense, rats have rather sharp claws and emit a very irritating high-pitched sound to scare away potential predators. Their claws are in no way as sharp or imposing as the rats teeth but they are a valuable weapon for them to use to defend themselves. The sound they emit is a very high frequency vocalization that is often described as chirping. It can be used to communicate with other rats, both as a warning and for mating, or can be used to try to irritate predators into leaving them alone. The sound is quite disturbing and can cause many other animals to run away.

Rats can live in many different environments, but they are most frequently found around humans. This is not because humans and rats get along so well, but is instead because rats instinctively know that humans will leave and possess things they can eat. They are aware that humans leave garbage and debris that is quite edible to them, and so living in areas where there is high density of men and women is an especially enticing place to live.

The relationship between rats and humans is quite one-sided. While rats find the relationship quite appetizing to them personally, humans see the critters as a nuisance that carry disease and pestilence. This is a fair assessment. Rats are known to have aided in some of the most devastating diseases the earth has ever seen. Most of the Black Plague epidemics that have spread in different regions of the world were spread by rats. Fleas that live on the rats were the actual carriers of the disease, but as rats entered areas where humans lived they brought the disease with them, leading to millions of deaths.

Rats are omnivores, and they will literally eat anything. If there is any nutrient value in something they can consume they will be trying it out. These are not picky eaters by any stretch of the imagination and will eat anything for a dead animal or bug, to last week’s cold French fries that have been sitting in the garbage for seven days. They prefer sweet things or things that are high in protein.

Rats usually live in large communal groups. They do virtually everything as a group, including scavenging for food and protecting the home they are nesting in. It is not uncommon to find hundreds of rats living in a small community together.

Most of these critters are wild, but some have been domesticated and are kept as pets by people. The domesticated ones can be quite docile, but will still bite at times if provoked or if they smell something on you that could be seen as food. The domesticated version does not usually contain diseases or parasites that are dangerous to human beings.

Rats will mate once or twice a year. A female rat can have as many as 12 babies, but most often will have five or six. Most often larger litters do not have a high survivability rate for a variety of reasons, including the mother’s inability to fee that many babies. That can often mean starvation for the entire litter or the mother becomes sick from being unable to care for herself. The period from conception to bird is usually about three weeks, and babies are usually able to care for themselves after about 14 days.

An interesting aspect about rats is that their brain chemistry is quite similar to that of human beings. This is why they are often used as test animals by doctors and researchers. It is found that if there are adverse effects in the rats then it can be safely assumed that the same effects will be found in humans. Conversely if the effects are positive, then they will likely be positive in humans as well. Learn more about Austin rat removal.