Rats were used for sport in Europe during previous centuries. Rat baiting involved putting a terrier dog in a pit with a couple hundred rats. People placed bets on how long before the rats were all dead.
Rats are not native to the United States. They came to America by stowing away on trade ships from Europe.
Rats typically live about one year, although they may survive longer, and females may have 4–7 litters of young per year. Litters range from 6–12 with a total of about 30 young expected to live to maturity per year.
The most common rat responsible for residential infestations is the Norway Rat. These rodents prefer to live underground in burrows.
Rats are resistant to many diseases (including rabies), poisons, and even radiation, allowing them to survive and reproduce under most environmental conditions. However, rats are incapable of vomiting, thus making them very wary of eating unfamiliar things.
Their continuously growing incisors can exert 24,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. That is strong enough to gnaw through a concrete block or lead pipe.
A rat’s front teeth, called incisors, grow all the time. Only gnawing keeps them the same length.
Rats belong to a group of 1,800 species of small mammals called rodents. The group also includes squirrels, voles, lemmings beavers, porcupines and guinea pigs.
Kiore eat a wide range of foods including seeds, fruits, insects, lizards, eggs and chicks. New Zealand's native plants and animals, however, evolved in the absence of mammalian predators and are therefore poorly equipped to compete with, or defend against the impact of introduced species.
Kiore is the Maori name for a species of rat. It is the world's third most widely distributed rat, found throughout the Asia/Pacific area.