Summer of the cannibal rats! Hungry, aggressive, highly fertile – and coming to our homes. Lockdown has been hard for rodents whose fortunes are tied to those of humans.
When restaurants closed, and city streets and back alleys emptied of people and their waste, rats lost a plentiful supply of food. So they followed us home, foraging and breeding in our gardens, drains and household voids. They became more brazen and aggressive. And, when that wasn’t enough, they began to eat each other. CDC warns of aggressive cannibal rats facing shortage of garbage to eat. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned of “unusual or aggressive” behavior in American rats as a consequence of more than two months of human lockdown for city-dwelling rodents who now find themselves unable to dine out on restaurant waste, street garbage and other food sources.
Last month, according to the national health body, dumpster-diving rats were observed resorting to eating their young in the wake of urban shutdowns. “Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC said in recently updated rodent-control guidelines. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.” Some rodent experts predicted increased urban rat aggression. Beer and bagels please: New York rats evolve to mirror human habits. Humans are not alone in suffering from the stresses of modern city life.
Researchers have found the brown rats of New York are struggling just as hard to adapt to urban existence. Meet the "werewolf mouse" who hunts scorpions and deadly centipedes and howls at the moon. Have you ever heard of the Grasshopper mouse?
It lives in the deserts of North America, lives on a meat diet, and hunts scorpions. Unlike other animals, it is immune to scorpion venom and actually turns it into a pain killer. Oh, and this little rodent bad ass also howls at the moon, giving it the nickname of werewolf mouse. Rats — Quartz Daily Obsession. New York City turns to dry ice to control its rat population. Urban residents typically do their best to avoid rats.
New York City exterminator Joseph Rodriguez seeks them out. He uses the handle of a shovel to shift the foliage in a neighborhood park, looking for small tunnels at the base of plants. When he finds the smooth opening of a rat burrow, he slides a few scoops of dry ice pellets into the opening, trailing foggy vapors. “If you pay attention to the burrows that are close by, you’ll see the vapors coming out from the other burrows,” he explained. Humans Are Driving the Evolution of Urban Rats. It took only a few seconds to spot one.
Scientists Taught Rats to Drive Tiny Cars for an Important Reason. But there's a way to counteract this effect: Lambert suggests we can change our brain's anatomy and chemistry through experiences.
Interacting with nature or taking up a hobby, for example, have been found to be beneficial to the brain. "I think our brains still need doses of those old-fashioned rewards, kind of like mental health vitamins," she said. The driving-rats study has gone viral across news outlets worldwide since it first appeared in an article for New Scientist last month, and Lambert is using her overnight notoriety to educate others about brain plasticity and inspire change in her research area. Australian water rats cut cane toads open with 'surgical precision' to feast on their hearts.
Australian water rats have learned how to kill cane toads, eat their hearts and carve out their organs with “surgical precision”.
In only two years, highly intelligent native rakali in the Kimberly region of Western Australia discovered how to safely destroy the deadly toad – by removing its gallbladder and feasting on the heart. The rats even targeted the biggest, most poisonous toads they could find, leaving their bodies strewn by the riverside, according to research published in Australian Mammalogy. Cane toads were first introduced into Queensland in the 1930s and have been marching slowly west ever since, devastating native animals and driving them towards extinction. The toads first arrived in a site monitored by the researchers in WA in 2011. If You Haven’t Smiled Today, Meet Darius, The Rat Who Was Taught To Paint. We all have our talents and we should be proud of them.
But when you’re a rat who paints, you should be… famous. And this little guy sure was. Darius the rat went viral on social media for his artistic abilities numerous times, and, even though he has passed away, his works still bring joy to people all over the world. More info: Facebook | Twitter. When It Comes to the Black Death, the Rats May Have Been Framed.
The Laboratory Rat: A Natural History. M. Berdoy. Oxford University. FULL & HD VERSION. Rats fight gone wild. Rats — Quartz Obsession. Sexual pleasure might help us learn – if rats are any guide. How do rats know when their partners are feeling amorous?
One way female rats show they’re feeling frisky is to wiggle their ears – or rather, very rapidly shake their head, so that it looks like their ears are moving. So when Mary Holder, a neuroscientist working at the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech, sees lady rats wiggling their ears, she knows they’re ready to mate. To the casual observer, studying ear wiggling in rats might seem trivial, but rat sex is actually crucial in improving our understanding of sexual behaviors in mammals. This kind of research is harder than it sounds: although rats have been used for decades as models of mammalian diseases and behaviors, they are nocturnal – meaning they engage in sex during the night. So in order to study rats’ sexual behaviors, Holder explains, “We had the rats [in the lab] on a reversed light cycle, so that the lights would go off around 10 or 11 a.m. Atlasobscura. An (Almost) Comprehensive History of Rat Kings.
Behold the rat king! A ball of furry fury, a rat king occurs when the tails of rodents become twisted, wrapped, and warped into a knot so impossible that not even the world's most loyal Boy Scout could untangle it. Giant Rat That Fell From Sky in Solomon Islands Is New Species. By Jason Bittel For more than 20 years, people in the Solomon Islands have told scientists about huge rats that live in the treetops. But no one could prove the creature actually existed—until November 2015, when loggers felled a 30-foot-tall tree on the island of Vangunu and a rat came crashing down with it.
Unfortunately for this rodent of unusual size, the fall took its life. But as fate would have it, a ranger from a nearby conservation area, Hikuna Judge, witnessed the animal’s last moments. Atlasobscura. How Are Rats With No Y Chromosome Born Male? Log In - New York Times. While the disease might be rare, for residents in the area, the exposure to rats is nothing new. Rosa Flores, 73, has lived for 10 years with her son, her daughter and her nephew in one of the eight illegal basement units in the affected building.
Rats have always been a problem, she said, but the situation has been worse in recent months, especially since their cat ran away. The cramped two-bedroom apartment was littered with chipped paint and broken appliances; rats had gnawed several holes in the floor and walls, which were loosely patched over by the city’s Department of Buildings. Last month, the family came home to find the refrigerator door ajar and rats crawling everywhere. Soon after, Ms. “I want the city to come check everything out because the rat population is a dangerous thing,” Ms. In Defense of Studying City Rats. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. In an era when we can decode language among animals and design coatings that make military weapons virtually invisible, it may seem that there are few things science cannot accomplish.
Death by dry ice: How cities are using a chilling killer to zap rats. Some of America’s biggest metros have begun using a chilling — and seemingly effective — new killing tool in the long and interminable urban war against rats: Dry ice. CHICAGO—Some of America’s biggest metros have unleashed a chilling—and seemingly effective—new killer in the unending urban war against rats: Dry ice. Sanitation officials in the nation’s third largest city told USA TODAY they recently launched a pilot program at four Chicago parks to test the effectiveness of dropping chunks of dry ice—frozen carbon dioxide—into burrows to try suffocate rats as the dry ice sublimates from a solid to a gas.
Chicago began the experiment with dry ice in late August, following Boston, which became the dry ice pioneer when it launched its pilot in March, and New York City, which launched its test program in May. Does ‘humanizing’ mice for drug experiments pose ethical challenges? (This was originally published at the Genetic Literacy Project by Danielle Young) Scientists Unearth Fossils Of Rats The Size Of Small Dogs. This video demonstrates how rats can swim up your toilet bowl and will turn you into a life-long squatter.
Scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/handle/10125/3382/v23n3-265-275.pdf?sequenc.. Study reveals rats show regret, a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely human. Will Giant Mutant Rats overrun NYC in Sandy’s wake. Mapping New York City's Rats. DOHMH Rat Information Portal. Did NYC rats survive hurricane Sandy? Floodwaters enter Hugh L. Carey Tunnel. MTA photo. Mapping the Rats in New York City.