15 things you didn’t know about your rat

Rat facts

I know, all rat parents will say: “What? I know everything about my babies!”. But, just give me a chance, and I will prove you, that there is still so much more about those wonderful creatures that all the world should know!

  1. Rats don’t jump often but if needed, they can show themself as amazing jumpers. The longest jumps noted were (approximately): horizontally – 100m long, vertically – 10 m!
  2. Your rats are talking to each other all the time. But you will never hear it – human ears are not good enough! (Some of the sounds rats are using to communicate are on a frequency that our ears can’t hear. Rats can hear frequencies from 200 Hz to 80-90 kHz, when human ear can hear from 16 Hz to 20 kHz. For example, rat babies searching for their mother are making sounds on frequency 30-50 kHz. If the rat is unhappy or stressed he will use frequency near to 20 kHz).
  3. Rats milk have more fat and protein then cow milk.
  4. Every rat herd have their own unique scent.
  5. Rats can see ultraviolet light.
  6. Your rat can move every whisker separately. This is just so cool!
  7. Every whisker has their own responsible cell in rat’s brain.
  8. The newly born rat learns the mother’s diet and her taste preferences through the taste of the milk. This way they are learning very early what types of food are safe.
  9. 1% of rat DNA is responsible only for olfactory receptors.
  10. Rats can “read” from other rat pee! I know it might sound weird but rats actually can find out from other rat urine scent and colour if the rat was male or female, if it was young or old, what was this rat place in hierarchy and even if he/she was nervous!
  11. Rat heart beats 320-480 times per minute. 
  12. Rats can “record” the place (size, obstacles, entries etc.) and recreate it in their memory later. But that’s not all. They can play this “movie” backwards!
  13. Rats can see blue and green colours best. But, to be honest, their eyes are not focused on colours. For rats seeing is more recognizing light and dark. That’s why lights intensity if far more important for them and bright daily light can be very dangerous for their super sensitive eyes.
  14. The sight of a rat with dark eyes is 1 cpd, albino only 0,5 cpd, and human 30 cpd. Basically, we can say that rats are seeing all the time like a human who forgot to put on his glasses. Hence why, sometimes you can see them doing moves from right to left (motion parallax) to check the distance between the objects and focus their vision.
  15. Rats can “see” with their whiskers. They are using them not only to feel the distance but also density. Scientists were testing if rats can recognize empty space from a space covered with glass. Rats were always able to recognize the glass and walk through it, but only if they had their whiskers working properly.

Author: Kasia

Rat mother and enthusiast.

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