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Scientific Name of Rat

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What is the Scientific Name of a Rat?

To understand the Scientific name of Rat or what is the Botanical name of Rat, we need to know a little bit about living Organisms and the need for classification of living Organisms and the techniques that were used for naming them. There are some unique and distinctive characteristics that are shown by living Organisms. These characteristics help us to differentiate between living and nonliving Organisms. Characteristics like growth, reproduction and consciousness can contribute to differentiate between living and nonliving Organisms. The living Organisms are present in very large numbers so it was needed to classify them on some basics so that it becomes easy for us to study them. 

Diversity in the Living World

We will come back to our question of what is the Scientific name of Rat. But before that, we must know about the diverse nature of the world we all are living in. A large variety of living Organisms such as herbs, shrubs, dogs, birds, insects are all seen around us. Also some bacteria, fungi, viruses are also present and we cannot see them with our naked eye. We need a microscope to see them. When we study different surroundings such as mountains, forests, oceans we find that there are vast varieties of living Organisms present there and this is known as biodiversity. It is just the number and the various kinds of Organisms that are found on the earth. It is responsible for the variability that is found among living Organisms. This diversity differs from place to place and habitat to habitat. We have discovered lakhs of species and still, there are more than this number that is to be discovered. As the tempeRature and conditions vary from place to place, we have different types of Organisms

Nomenclature and Identification

There are around 1.8 million species that are known according to the IUCN. IUCN is the International Union of Conser of Nature and Natural resources. And according to it still, there are millions of species that are yet to be discovered. The need for nomenclature will help us to answer our question of what is the Scientific name of Rat. Binomial nomenclature will let us answer our question of what is the Scientific name for Rat.


Binomial Nomenclature

There are some codes and rules to which all the scientists of the world have agreed for assigning Scientific names to newly discovered species. Carolus Linnaeus developed this system. This system helps us to provide distinct and proper Scientific names to a variety of Organisms. The rules are written below:

  • The biological names are generally taken from the Latin language without considering their place of origin. Thus, the newly assigned names are Latinised.

  • The name of each Organism consists of two words. The first name represents the genus of the Organism whereas the second word represents the species of the Organism. 

  • The Scientific name when printed is done in italics and when it is handwritten then it is underlined. 

  • The name of the author or the person who discovered it is written after the name in abbreviated form. 

  • These all three words together are known as a binomial epithet.

  • This nomenclature is followed to get to our answer to what is the Scientific name for Rat. 


From the above system of nomenclature which we read, the Scientific name of Rat is Rattus. Rattus is the name of the genus to which Rats belong. As there are many species of Rats, so in accordance with their species name, different biological names of Rats can be derived. But the genus name remains constant here. The Rats belong to the rodent family and are longer than 5 inches. The species of black Rats is known as Rattus Rattus. They belong to Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia and Order Rodentia. They are generally bigger than mice and this is what discriminates them from mice. 

The common species of these Rats are found to live with humans and thus they are known as commensals. In developing countries, they are responsible for food losses. Some species of Rats have become endangered as they are limited to the islands. These Rats are also responsible for carrying out several pathogens like Leptospira and Toxoplasma gondii. Rats are also used in Scientific research. Various types of genes are inserted and tested. This all answers our question of what is the Scientific name of Rat. 

Need for Classification

After getting our answer for what is the Scientific name for Rat, one more question arises that why do we need classification? So, the answer is that we need some tool to categorize such a huge variety of animal and plant species. As there are different types of creatures present, it will be impossible for us to today about all of them in our entire lifetime. Hence, to make our studies easier we have made this system of classification which is easy to study and understand. 

Origin and habitat 

  • Rattus norvegicus, which has nothing to do with Norway, grows naturally in the tempeRate regions of Central Asia. Mice are found all over the world (mainly via ships). Historically, they have played an important role in the transmission of diseases. This is still an important fact in today's world. 

  • In the wild, mice are predominantly nocturnal, live in caves and eat almost everything, including seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat and invertebRates. Mice live in human habitats and are also known to destroy food. Its ability to chew destroys far more food than it eats. Further evidence of damage caused by the Rat is shown by reports of wire-biting insulation and even metal pipe penetRation.


The first black Rat was originally bred by breeders and was bred to manage terriers (hence Rat terriers). Mice are sometimes kept as pets and are still unimaginable, but the majority of domesticated mice are obtained from laboRatory animal breeders for use in biomedical research, testing and training. In fact, the Rat is the second most widely used animal in biomedical activity, surpassing its relatives, the mouse. Several strains, strains, and variants are available, but much less than mice. Most experimental Rats are inbred albino such as Wistar, SpragueDawley, Holtzman. Another popular laboRatory Rat is Long Evans. It is also known as a "hooded Rat" because of the thick hair on its head and parts of its anterior body. 


  • Mice can be picked up at the base of the tail, but this technique should only be used for a short period of time, such as moving a mouse from one enclosure to another. Grabbing and lifting a Rat with a tail other than the base can cause the skin and subcutaneous tissue to slip, causing necrosis, infection, and detachment of the caudal vertebra. It also provides a great opportunity for mice to swing and chew.

  • A better technique for lifting and restraining a Rat is to place the hand on the Rat's back and slide the thumb forward between the forelimbs into the intermaxillary space. The Rat can then be turned over and held upside down in the palm of your hand.


Anatomy and Physiology 

  • Adult weight: 250-300 g (female); 450 520 g (male) 

  • Lifespan: years 

  • RespiRatory Rate: 70115 breathing / min 

  • Heart Rate: 250450 beats / minute 

  • Normal average rectal tempeRature: 100ºF



  • Rats should be free to feed and water commercially available pellet Rats or rodents. These diets are nutritionally complete and do not require supplementation.  

  • Food intake is about 5g / 100g body weight / day. The amount of water intake is about 1012 ml / 100 g BW / day.


  1. Both females and males start breeding between 65 and 100 days, but females can develop their first estrus in 35 days. Rats are polyostotic and breed all year round. Ovulation is spontaneous. The estrous cycle lasts 45 days, and the estrus itself lasts about 12 hours and takes place in the evening. Vaginal swabs help determine the stage of the estrous cycle. Mating is usually nocturnal and can be confirmed by the presence of a mating plug in the vagina 1224 hours after mating, which is not as reliable as in mice. The presence of sperm in the vaginal smear is a good indicator of mating. 

  2. The Witten effect, the synchronization of the estrous cycle of females exposed to male pheromones, occurs in Rats but is less pronounced than in mice. The Bruce effect (reproduction, see mouse) does not occur in Rats. 

  3. The average gestation period is 22 days. The postnatal estrous cycle occurs within 48 hours of birth, and simultaneous breastfeeding and pregnancy can delay implantation by 35 days. The average number of litters is 612. Minors, called juveniles, weigh 56 grams at birth, are hairless, have closed eyelids and ears. Cannibalism is rare (except for new mothers), but females should not be disturbed during and for at least two days after delivery.

  4. Baby Rats wean at 3 weeks of age. Weaning weighs 4050 grams. If postpartum estrus is not used, the female will resume cycling 24 days after weaning. Newborn male Rats differ from newborn female Rats in that they have a large anogenital distance and a large male reproductive papillae. This is best achieved by lifting the tail of the litter and comparing the perineum. 

  5. Pseudopregnancy can follow sterile mating, but is rare.

Garville's illness 

Bacterial infectious disease 

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae 

  • Pseudo-tuberosis (Corneybacteriosis): Corynebacterium kutscheri 

  • Tyzzer's disease: Bacillus piliformis 

  • Pasteurella pneumotropica 

  • Salmonella enteritidis: Salmonella enteritidis 

  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Pseudomonas aeruginosa 

  • Streptobacillus bacillus: Streptobacillus moniliformis 

  • Mouse RespiRatory Mycoplasmosis: Mycoplasma Pneumonia 

  • Mycoplasma arthritis: Mycoplasma arthritis 

  • Hemobaltonerosis: Hemobart Ramris 

Viral disease 

  • Rat virus 

  • Sialadenitis 

  • Sendai virus 

Parasitic Disease 

  • Hepatozoonosis: Hepatozoon Murris 

  • Sarcocystis: Sarcocystis  

  • Spironuclus muris 

  • Giardia Lis 

  • Syphacia muris 

  • Aspicularis tetraptera 

  • Hymenolepis Nana 

  • Hymenolepis diminuta 

  • Taenia taeniae 

  • Polyplax spinulosa 

  • Radfordia ensirfera 

  • Notedres muris 

  • Laelaps echidninus

Fungal Disease 

  • Trichophyton mentagrophytes

Non-Infectious Disease 

1. Ringtail 

  • Circular stenosis with or without tail detachment 

  • It is associated with high and low tempeRatures (humidity less than 40%). 

2. Chromodacryorrhea 

  • Secretion of porphyrin pigment from the harder gland to tears. 

  • Dry "red tears" can leave fluorescent red skin around the eyes and nose. 

  • Stress, aging, and certain illnesses are associated with this condition. 

3. Breast tumor 

  • Most often, it is a fibroadenoma, usually well encapsulated and easy to remove.

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FAQs on Scientific Name of Rat

1. What do you know about Rat tails?

The rodents have a characteristic long tail feature. The three primary features of this structure are thermoregulation, proprioception and a nocifensive-mediated degloving response. Their tail is highly vascularized and is hairless. Some Rats like lizards can detach their tails and run to escape from predators. Due to high vascularity in the tail, they can withstand high temperatures.

2. How can rats be used as pets?

Brown and black Rats can be used as pets. They behave differently from their wild counterparts. Pet Rats do not possess health risks as much as dogs and cats. They can be tamed to perform selected behaviours. Due to selective breeding techniques, they can be available in different colours. There are Rat shows also organised around the world where we can perform by our pet Rats.

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