Gambian Pouched Rats have repopulated an area in the Florida Keys. They are a nonnative species and one of the largest rats in the world, weighing up to nine pounds. There is concern for their impact on native species and for spreading from Grassy Key to the mainland. Additionally, they might pose some threat to human infants. Last year it was reported two infants were killed by giant rats in South Africa.
These rats can reach 30 inches long (including their tails) and are omnivorous, eating insects, vegetables, snails, crabs and human infants. How did they end up in Florida? Like many other nonnative species there, they were imported as pets but later a concern arose over spreading monkey pox, so there was a ban in 2003.
Some of the signs of monkeypox are fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. In rural central and west Africa, some fatalities from the virus have been reported.these rats reproduce prolifically and can have five litters a year, or up to about 20 offspring annually.
Rat meat dishes in Yangshuo, Guangxi
Rat meat is a food that, while taboo or even forbidden in some cultures, is a dietary staple in others. Taboos include fears of disease or religious prohibition, but in many places, the high number of rats has led to their incorporation into the local diets. Meat is meat is meat.
The rats scuttling around the tracks of the New York City subway pale in comparison to a gargantuan species recently discovered in East Indonesia. In fact, the recently discovered rat tipped the scales at a somewhat frightening 13 pounds. That’s sizably heftier than today’s house rat (which averages 5 ounces) and burliest wild rats (which weigh about four-and-a-half pounds).
The oldest picture of the The Pied Piper of Hamelin copied from the
glass window of the Market Church in Hamelin.
The amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents.
If you are scared of rats, then this story might not be your favorite. Two babies have reported to have died in South Africa due to attacks from giant rats that grow up to three-foot length and have front teeth over an inch long...
Jack Black, Her Majesty's
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Professional rat-catchers behind a pile of dead rats, during the outbreak of bubonic plague in Sydney in 1900
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