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Amazing creatures - rats - have been living next to humans for thousands of years. This image has been formed in our country since childhood.
Rats cause disgust, disgust, fear and disgust. And who was interested in checking the veracity of the rumors and persuading others?
Only about a century and a half ago, people began to tame rats and even keep them at home as pets. And although these animals, not only have become much closer to us, help in scientific experiments, they still cannot radically change their image. Some myths, let's be honest, were not born out of nowhere. Nevertheless, let's try to figure out - where is the truth and where is the lie. And can all the myths be attributed to domestic rats?
Rats are able to survive in any conditions. They say that these creatures are almost the most important ancient calamity of mankind. And the rat appeared in nature many millions of years before us. Humans have been fighting these rodents for thousands of years, but there has been little progress. After all, the rat is capable of fantastically adapting to different conditions, surviving in wild and harsh environments. Smart rodents are not afraid of radiation, temperatures, lack of food, and they are not afraid of baits. Scientists say that there are no modern methods by which rats could be chafed. And all wine is their innate alertness to everything new, especially to unusual smells. So the danger of poisoned baits to rats quickly becomes clear. In the rodent society, there are even special approbers, creatures who are ready to risk their lives to test new food for taste. So the adaptability of rats is not a myth at all.
Rats attack humans. There is some truth in this myth. In general, rats shy away from people, fearing them. But there are situations when the animal is forced to defend itself. Then the rat can really go on the attack on the person. Villagers can tell how these creatures bit and even ate the unattended infants. Rats can attack pets. There are known cases of eating hamsters, turtles, attacks on kittens and puppies. The reason is hunger, which pushes the rats to do terrible things.
A rat can gnaw a hole in anything. The ability of rats to gnaw through material is quite high. In fact, only glass and iron are not amenable to them. Rats are not without success sharpening bricks, concrete, wood, plastic, rubber lend themselves well to them. So the sheath of the electrical cable and glass wool will not stop the rodent. Rats gnawed at walls, undermined dams and foundations, and undermined the pillars of bridges. Even the watertight ship partitions turned into a sieve thanks to them.
Rats reproduce very quickly. This statement is difficult to deny. In rats, pregnancy lasts only two weeks. And already three days after giving birth, the rat is ready for a new fertilization. Pups spend a month in the nest, and already at 3-4 months of life, puberty begins. With age, the female's fertility only increases. As a result, depending on the amount of food around and living conditions, the female brings offspring several times a year. There are usually 8-10 pups in a litter, but sometimes this number can reach 16. The female takes care of her offspring, keeping the nest warm and clean. And rat milk is very nutritious.
The rat is an ancient laboratory animal. Laboratory experiments have indeed been carried out on rats for a long time. These are very unpretentious creatures, the content of which is simple and inexpensive. It is on rats that people test medicines, cosmetics, and vaccines. We are afraid of rats, and it is to them that many people owe both beauty and life.
Rats carry various diseases. On the one hand, this is true, but rather it refers to the wild species of the species. Rats do carry diseases such as rabies, tularemia, toxoplasmosis. But we ourselves are also carriers of various diseases. So what happens - anyone you meet must necessarily be a dangerous infectious source? Diseases, including those dangerous to humans, are also tolerated by dogs. But nobody refuses to have a puppy for this reason. As for rats, even wild specimens are not necessarily infected with one or another disease. And there is no need to talk about decorative animals. How can they acquire terrible diseases if they initially grow in an artificial environment (at home or in a store), and do not contact their wild relatives at all? And such rats do not appear on the street. Oddly enough, but for a domestic rat, a person is a greater danger than she is for him. So if you fear, then wild rats, and not decorative ones.
Rats are evil and dangerous creatures, from the bite of which blood poisoning immediately occurs. Pet rat owners have a lot to say about how affectionate and gentle their pets are. These creatures can take pity on the owners when they are in a bad mood, the rats even lick their tears. These rodents love affection and appreciate it. It happens that they are even ready to exchange food for care from their owner, the rats ask to be petted first and only then they begin to eat. For the development of sepsis, one bite is not enough, certain conditions are also necessary. And blood poisoning as such can form due to any other damage to the skin. American ratmen cite such a simple fact: over the past 20 years, not a single case of human infection with an infectious disease after a rodent bite has been documented in this country.
The most evil rats are those with red eyes. In fact, eye color does not in any way determine the behavior of an animal. After all, we do not define a person's cruelty by the same parameter. And eye color in rats only affects the ability of vision. Those creatures who have red eyes see much worse than their black-eyed relatives. As a result, they have to rely more not even on the sense of smell, with which there are also problems, but on hearing. As for blood poisoning, in order for sepsis to develop, just a bite is not enough, certain conditions must be present. In addition, blood poisoning can develop from other damage to the skin, the infection can get through a furuncle, any cut or burn. So you just need to follow the rules of hygiene and treat wounds on time.
Decorative rats bite in the same way as wild ones. Everyone knows that rats sometimes bite quite hard. The pressure force of the teeth is 500 kg / cm². It is known that an adult creature can not only bite through a finger, but even gnaw through concrete. Bites are a common means of self-defense for wild animals. But for a domestic, decorative rat, a bite means that the person is to blame. It's just that the owner tortured her too much or hurt her. Rarely does a rat bite just out of fear or in an attempt to show its dominant position in a certain flock in this way. Unmotivated bites are quite rare for such domesticated creatures.
Rats have a nasty and cold hairless tail. And males have nasty cold testicles. Let's talk about the body temperature of these animals. From the school course in zoology, you can recall that rats are rodents. They also belong to the class of mammals, that is, warm-blooded animals. Where suddenly they have a cold part of the body. And those who do not like the naked rat tail simply never carefully considered it. This part of the body is not at all devoid of hair, it is just that it is much more rare on it than on the rest of the body.
Rats are unclean and filthy creatures. It is worth observing a rat a little, it turns out that it devotes quite a lot of time to washing and licking its body. While in cages, many such rodents go to the toilet only in a certain corner. But we must admit that the nature of rats, like people, can be different. There are animals that are absolutely clean. They do not even eat that part of the food that they held on to with their paws, throwing it away. In their own cage, such rats are constantly putting things in order, taking care of their own cleanliness. But there are also creatures that are not so attentive to dirt. But among people there are real "pigs", should we blame the rats?
Rats have the dirtiest place - their paws. This is not true, because the dirtiest place on the body of this rodent is the tail. He drags behind the rat everywhere, clinging to the remnants of food, excrement. And let the animals constantly look after themselves and clean their tail, it will constantly attract dirt to itself. If the tail of young rats is light pink, then over time it becomes dark and spotted. It's all the fault of particles of dirt that get under the scales of the tail and stick to the hairs. You can buy a house rat, but even that is not enough to remove all the dirt from the tail. Then you have to carry out special cleaning with brushes and mild detergents.
Being naked, the rat will freeze. In the cold, decorative naked rats, of course, will freeze. And the woolly variety does not tolerate frost, the animal can easily catch a cold and die. But in a warm room, hairless rats feel comfortable, they will not freeze there. These creatures have a slightly higher body temperature, which makes it possible to compensate for the lack of wool. Of course, the mechanisms of thermoregulation in rats are not as perfect as in humans. The rat is not even afraid of high or low temperature, but of its sharp change. The body simply does not have time to adapt to such unexpected changes in the environment, which leads to illness. So rats do not tolerate only cold, but sometimes even heat. In poultry markets it was possible to see rats in cages and at minus 15 degrees, cases of breeding of wild rats at minus 20 are known.
Rats are tenacious creatures, they can live up to eight years. If these creatures lived to be eight years old, their owners would be immensely happy. In fact, rats usually live for two to three years, only occasionally a little longer. An eight-year-old rat is either fantasy or outright deception.
In the subway, abandoned mines, there are huge rats, almost a meter long. Quite often you come across stories about such monsters. Here are just no confirmation of this. But a found such a rat would undoubtedly have attracted everyone's attention. The body length of an ordinary such rodent, excluding the tail, does not exceed 30 centimeters, only exceptional specimens can reach a mass of more than a kilogram.
In the house such a vile creature has nothing to do, then the dwelling will have to be consecrated. In ancient times, rats constantly ran around the village huts, but no one went to the priest every time after that. The Church is not against the fact that Christians domesticated animals. The Old Testament deals with the issue of clean and unclean animals in some detail. In the Book of Acts of the Holy Apostles, the Lord told Peter that he was not such a domestic animal that could not be with a person. There are no creatures in the house from whom it would be necessary to get rid of, as from filth. The New Testament does not at all say that any living being is bad, unclean. Accordingly, there is no such rule - to consecrate a house or temple anew after it.
It is strictly forbidden to kiss rats, especially for pregnant women. This myth says that the saliva of rats contains a certain dangerous substance that causes infertility in women and generally provokes miscarriages. In fact, this is distorted information about toxoplasmosis. The main carrier of these parasites is cats, but microorganisms can be carried by other warm-blooded creatures, including humans. Toxoplasmosis itself, a disease caused by toxoplasma, is easy. But if a woman becomes infected during pregnancy, unpleasant consequences are possible for the development of an intrauterine fetus, as well as for living beings with reduced immunity in general. And for a rat to become a carrier of toxoplasmosis, it must be in contact with an infected animal, for example, a cat. The same is rare. In this case, it is worth observing the simplest sanitary standards when caring for animals and processing products. Pregnant women should be carefully examined for toxoplasmosis. Infection is possible even from the use of meat products, eggs that have not undergone normal heat treatment. So do not shy away from rats, but you just need to follow the simplest rules of hygiene.
Rats should not be fed meat, otherwise they become aggressive and angry. Rats, like humans, by the way, are omnivorous animals. But do we get angry when we eat meat? Something similar is claimed by vegetarians, only there is no reliable confirmation of this fact. So why would rats become angry?
A rat may well eat food from a human table. You should be attentive to what a person offers to his pet. Alcohol, spicy, salty, pickled and carbonated drinks are contraindicated in rats. So there is a list of categorically forbidden foods. Also, it is better not to offer rats sweet food, fried and fatty.
Rats do not drink at all, they have enough of the liquid that is contained in vegetables. In fact, rats need water. This rodent drinks 30-35 milliliters of water per day. And eating wet food simply reduces the daily allowance to 5-10 milliliters. It has been experimentally proven that a rat can live quite normally if their feed contains more than 65% moisture. If this figure is 45%, then after 26 days the animal will die, with 14% it will live only 4-5 days. In general, without water, a rat can live no more than two days, even deprivation of an animal's liquid for a day can badly affect its health and future offspring.
Rats can live in any environment and eat anything. That is why special food, mineral stones are just an excuse to rip off more from naive owners. In nature, the rat feeds on almost everything it can reach. In urban conditions, they do not disdain either leftovers, or feces, or slops. The wild rat pursues one goal - to survive at any cost. As a result, the average lifespan of a wild representative is no more than a year. Do the owners want the same fate for their pet? Adaptability is good, but in order for the rat to live long and be healthy, it is best to give it the necessary nutrients, minerals, and clean it in the cage on time. If she lacks something in food, then she can start eating her own excrement.
A rat doesn't need a large cage. Rats are very mobile creatures. They need constant physical activity. Only in a large cage can they retain their shape. And do not forget to arrange ladders, labyrinths, ropes there. For any living creature, health lies in movement. In the literature on rat breeding, there are practical tips for setting up a house. Each individual should have a volume of 0.06 to 0.15 cubic meters. And for one rodent, the minimum recommended size is 36 by 60 by 30 centimeters.
If the rat is released from the cage, it will certainly run away.Do not suspect wild instincts in your pets. Decorative rats easily and for a long time become attached to their owners. It is no coincidence that rat breeders use such terms as “couch rat” and “shoulder rat” in everyday life. There are also curious pets who want to explore the world around them. But even such rats quickly learn to come back at the call of their owners. But what you definitely should not do - let out domestic rats to run in nature, dacha. The animal can be so carried away by the study of a new environment and smells that it can simply get lost. Then he draws to contract a disease, poison himself or even be the prey of local predators.
So that the house rat does not smell, it must be constantly bathed. In fact, it is recommended to bathe rats only in two cases. A bath is needed if the pet is already very dirty. Another option is to prepare the rat for an exhibition. And so that the smell does not come from the animal, you just need to regularly clean it in the cage. You can also wipe the rat with a damp cloth as a last resort. Decorative species of rodents generally dislike water, bathing for them is a great stress. After all, there is a great chance of catching a cold after taking a bath. But even here there are representatives who are not only not afraid of water, but also swim in it with pleasure. By the way, the fear of water is generally not a specific phobia of rats, because in nature, wild representatives swim very well. It's just that pets are initially unfamiliar with water. If rats are taught to water from childhood, then they may well learn to dive and become cool swimmers. On hot days, water is indispensable, given the fact that rats have worse thermoregulation than humans, water procedures can be an excellent opportunity to cool off.
For female rats to have no tumors, they must give birth. And again, it should be said that there is no reliable information about the relationship between tumors and childbirth. Malignant formations can appear in a female who has given birth, and a nulliparous female may not have them all her life. So, in the matter of establishing offspring, more serious arguments must be taken into account.
In rats, tumors are contagious, so diseased creatures should be euthanized immediately. Both in humans and in rats, tumors are not contagious. There are some viruses that can initiate the formation of tumors, including cancerous ones. But just having a virus that could start transforming a cell is not enough. The cell itself must still be ready for such changes, and the body must not interfere with such processes. So if viruses do have any role in the development of tumors, the mechanism here is different from that observed in infectious diseases. There is simply no evidence of cancer transmission from one individual to another. And in the rats themselves, most often the tumors are not malignant. Talking about euthanasia is only worth it when the tumor causes real suffering to the animal.
Rats must live in pairs - male and female. This statement is not only false, but also dangerous. Rats are truly social animals that prefer to live in a group. But it is undesirable to keep opposite-sex creatures together. Sexual maturity in these rodents occurs early, at two months. But physical maturity comes later, by six months. There are mechanisms in natural populations that prevent the early pregnancy of females. However, they don't work for decorative rats. As a result, a female who becomes pregnant at three months is the same as a human girl who becomes pregnant at 12-13 years old. Needless to say, how will such an early birth say for both the mother and the offspring? Even if you put adult rats together, trying to avoid this problem, another will appear - frequent birth. This will manifest itself in the early aging of the female's body, the depletion of her body, and the deterioration of each subsequent offspring. Even for the male, early mating is undesirable. So if there is a desire for a rat to live in captivity for a real happily ever after, it is worth having same-sex animals. Females and males get along well with their own kind, not suffering at all from the lack of sexual intercourse.
Rats often eat their offspring. If the rats are properly kept, such cases will be very rare. To prevent such horrors from happening, you need to feed the pets well, give them a good nest, where they will not be disturbed in vain, and provide them with fresh water. And females should not be knitted early, avoiding weak, painful individuals. Rats are usually quite caring mothers who tenderly care for their young. Females protect offspring from strangers, leaving the nest only for a short time to eat and rest. Rats even camouflage their nest by hiding the children. It happens that females raise not only their offspring, but also adopted babies. Even males are able to take care of their children. And eating their own offspring is generally found in rodents, the owners of guinea pigs or hamsters often talk about this. Good reasons are needed for a rat to eat its children. The main one is stress. It happens that the female does not feel safe, does not have enough food and is not confident in herself. Sometimes she tries to eat one or two of the weakest cubs in order to be able to leave the rest, keeping their strength on them. But this is a very rare case that can be avoided by creating good conditions for a pregnant rat.