[Mammals] Taxonomy Index Previous Record


  Figures   1: Brehm, Alfred Edmund (1865);
Description Source Text

The upper side of their bodies and tails is dark, brownish black. This colouration shades off very gradually into a slightly brighter, grayish black colour at the lower side.

Rats were doubtlessly unknown in America, Australia and Africa in the past, but ships brought them to all coastal regions and from there they migrated deeper and deeper inland.

Everything that is edible is suitable for them. Humans do not eat anything that rats would not eat; this is not restricted only to food, but applies also to what humans drink.

Rats master all forms of moving. They run quickly and skillfully, they climb excellently, even on rather slippery walls, they swim masterly, jump with dexterity fairly long distances, and they dig tolerably well one after the other, although they do not like to persist in this activity for long.

Amongst their senses, hearing and the sense of smell rank first; the former is, in fact, excellent. However, their sight is also not bad, and all too often do rats employ their sense of taste in larders, where they always tend to pick the tastiest food.

When mating, they make loud noises, squeal, and shrill; for the enamoured males fight fervently for the females. Approximately one month after the copulation, they deliver a colony of 5 to 21 lovely little animals that anyone would find adorable, if they were not rats.
  Source: Brehm, Alfred Edmund. 1865. Illustrirtes Thierleben: eine allgemeine Kunde des Thierreichs. Zweiter Band. Erste Abtheilung: Die Säugethiere. Zweite Hälfte: Beutelthiere und Nager. Zahnarme, Hufthiere und Seesäugethiere. view the source
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ISSN 1866-4784: reference - xlink