The Rattus norvegicus in a primary host for carrying diseases. The disease Leptospirosis is considered to be fatal to man and is transferred through the rats urine.  About 1/3 of the rat population is speculated to carry this disease. [7]  The Norway rat weighs about 11 ounces and is approximately 22 cm in length from nose to the end of the tail, at full maturation.  The hairless, scaly tail is about 10 cm in length.   Rats are often used for various test that have potential risk, but the situation is handled humanely.  There was a scientific study done on rats testing how potassium dichromate ingestion affects the Rattus norvegicus over the F0, F1, and F2 generations.   Potassium dichromate is used throughout the steel industries, dyes, and wood preservations.  Companies wanted to see the health related risk caused by the excess waste that is released into environments.  Basically, the F0, F1, and F2 generations all were exposed to potassium dichromate in controlled feeding successions.  The results concluded potassium dichromate caused the Rattus norvegicus to intake less food as later generations were further exposed. [12]  Click the link and scroll down to see the results.  Also, the two Rattus norvegicus in the link are only sleeping.

Results for the F0 and F2 generation of offspring


Fun Facts:

     1. I found  some very interesting fun facts that I would have never assumed about rats. 

     2. Their front teeth grow 5 inches per year and will even gnaw on cement and metal to wear them down.
     3. What surprised me was that a female rat can mate as many as 500 times during 6 hours of receptivity and produce as many as 2,000 offspring in a year only if unaffected by any stressors of the environment.
     4. Did you know that a rat can tread water for 3 days and also be flushed down a toilet  but still manage to live. 

    5. Apparently, India has a temple purely for honoring the deceased rat goddess Karni Mata.  More than 20,000 rats inhabit it and people religiously travel great distances to honor her and provide tribute. 

      6. Rather bizarre, but rats will eat their own feces for nutritional purposes. 

    7. Back in the 19th century, rat baiting was an accepted sport where a humans or dogs were set in a pit to see how many rats they could kill. 

      8. Relative to its size a rat can fall 50 feet without experiencing injury. 

      9. A rat doesn't encounter perspiration, instead they control temperature by expanding or contracted blood vessels in the tail. 

These fun facts were introduced to me through an article is Discovery Magazine. [9]





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