Brown rat

Brown rat
Temporal range: Early Holocene - Recent
Rattus norvegicus - Brown rat 02.jpg
A wild rat in Turkey
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Rattus
R. norvegicus
Binomial name
Rattus norvegicus
(Berkenhout, 1769)

The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the common rat, street rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat and Norwegian rat, is a widespread species of common rat. One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a head and body length of up to 28 cm (11 in) long, and a tail slightly shorter than that. It weighs between 140 and 500 g (4.9 and 17.6 oz). Thought to have originated in northern China and neighbouring areas, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas.

Selective breeding of the brown rat has produced the fancy rat (rats kept as pets), as well as the laboratory rat (rats used as model organisms in biological research). Both fancy rats and laboratory rats are of the domesticated subspecies Rattus norvegicus domestica.[2][3] Studies of wild rats in New York City have shown that populations living in different neighborhoods can evolve distinct genomic profiles over time, by slowly accruing different traits.[4][5]

  1. ^ Ruedas, L.A. (2016). "Rattus norvegicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T19353A165118026. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T19353A165118026.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ Hulme-Beaman, Ardern; Orton, David; Cucchi, Thomas (19 June 2021). "The origins of the domesticate brown rat ( Rattus norvegicus ) and its pathways to domestication". Animal Frontiers. 11 (3): 78–86. doi:10.1093/af/vfab020. PMC 8214441. PMID 34158992. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  3. ^ Modlinska, Klaudia; Pisula, Wojciech (17 January 2020). "The Norway rat, from an obnoxious pest to a laboratory pet". eLife. 9: e50651. doi:10.7554/eLife.50651. PMC 6968928. PMID 31948542. S2CID 210701849. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  4. ^ Bender, Eric (21 March 2022). "Urban evolution: How species adapt to survive in cities". Knowable Magazine. Annual Reviews. doi:10.1146/knowable-031822-1. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  5. ^ Combs, Matthew; Puckett, Emily E.; Richardson, Jonathan; Mims, Destiny; Munshi‐South, Jason (12 December 2017). "Spatial population genomics of the brown rat ( Rattus norvegicus ) in New York City". Molecular Ecology. 27 (1): 83–98. doi:10.1111/mec.14437. ISSN 0962-1083. PMID 29165929. S2CID 13739507. Retrieved 1 April 2022.

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