I was surfing the web for information on rats. Roof rats had invaded my roof. Consequently, I wanted to find a way to persuade them to leave. I don’t like to poison the poor things.
Then I came upon this significant discovery; ‘ A Chinese Super Rat Roamed Earth 160 million years ago.’
A FOSSIL of the oldest known ancestor of modern rats had been unearthed in China.
Bingo! Jurassic Rat was born.
I realized that no one had written about an insignificant rat that managed to hide from gigantic dinosaurs and still be alive today. Although, modern rats anatomy are slightly different from their ancestors - then again, so are humans, in respect to their ancestors.
Aren’t we, Homo sapiens, physically diverse from the Neanderthal man, or farther away in time, from the Australopithecus afarensis, named Lucy? If you click on the links, can you notice the difference? I bet you can.
Did you know that rats are the most evolved class of animals known as mammalians?
May I name a few of the most common for you?
1- Roof rat, (Rattus rattus) also called the black rat or tree rat for the reason that they can climb trees and not only. Mine climbed up the power lines to reach the bird feeder in the winter, on the second floor. Wow! What an acrobat. Isn't it cute?
2- Norway rat, (Rattus norvegicus) They love to steal a free meal from my dog’s bowl.
This little guy above is a skeleton of a Norway rat. No worry, it died by natural causes. I think my cat caught it. I buried it in a paper box. Two months later I dug up the grave to find that the necrophagous insects had done a brilliant job. There lay only the rats bones and a few tuffs of fur. I brushed off some dirt and debris, then I assemble the skeleton. (I wore a mask and gloves) Don’t get grossed out; this is called science. We learn a lot from bones.
If you want to read more about rats, click here.
How many of you have domestic rats for pets? Have you noticed how ingenious they are? Let me know. I would love to hear from you. Have any of you ever thought of becoming an anthropologist or a paleontologist when you grow up?
Oh! I forgot to mention that the roof rats moved out after I introduced them to my cat, Giant. In Italian, we call him Gigante.
The picture book 'Jurassic Rat' is coming out in spring 2019, Published by Clear Fork Publishing