The Norway Rat or Rattus Norvegicus, in addition to this, it is commonly known as the Albany brown rat, or the
sewer rat along with a number of other names. This very fact means that it is widely spread throughout the
world in all kinds of habitats and areas. You will learn about some of the distinguishing characteristics
that allowed this New York rat type to adapt to the ever growing world and survive in various conditions.
Firstly, starting from the outside appearance, the noticeable characteristic is that their fur is quite coarse with color patterns that are between grey and brown on their backs, while on their bellies, the nuances of lighter gray and brown are visible. They are able to grow up to about 25 cm in total length while their tail is usually as long as their entire body, but it has no fur, instead it is bare and pink. Male rats are typically heavier than the females; however there have been cases of very large Albany rats growing up to almost 1 kg in weight.
As other species of Albany rats, Norway Rat is also nocturnal and a good swimmer, these two traits allowed it to adapt to many environments from sewers and dark alley ways and to thrive even in the largest concrete cities. One way to differentiate the Norway Rat from the Black Rat, aside from their fur and appearance, there is also the fact that Norway rats are poor climbers unlike the New York black rats. They communicate with ultrasonic sounds that are usually inaudible to human ear, but we may hear them squeaking when they find themselves in danger or some sort of a distress.
Similarly to other rat species, they are also omnivores which means that they eat whatever they are able to find and that has largely contributed to their massive population throughout the world. Aside from seeds and fruits they also take on meat of all kinds and any other opportunity for food that presents itself to them, they are very opportunistic eaters and it has been know that they also eat one another in times of extreme hunger.
They live in groups that are hierarchical and their breeding period is not limited to any particular season within a year, but they breed throughout the whole year and a female is able to produce up to twelve litters per year. With each litter containing up to about 15 young New York rats, you can see that this is one of the main reasons for the rapid spreading of their population. As for their lifespan, their natural lifespan is little more than 3 years in the wild, however, they usually live way less than that, barely over a year due to a number of reasons and the effects of Albany rat extermination.
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