Rat Facts



  • Mice and 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.
  • All rodents have two pairs of razor-sharp front teeth for gnawing nuts and berries, and a set of ridged teeth in their cheeks for chewing.
  • A rodent’s front teeth, called incisors, grow all the time. Only gnawing keeps them the same length.
  • Rats and mice are by far the most common rodents – they have adapted well to living alongside humans.
  • Brown and black rats carry germs for diseases such as food poisoning, plague and typhus.
  • Rabbits and hares look like rodents but they belong to another group of mammals called lagomorphs or ‘leaping shapes.’
  • Rats and mice have long thin tails, pointed noses, beady black eyes and four very sharp front teeth.
  • Hares live above ground and escape enemies through sheer speed. Rabbits live in burrows underground.
  • Baby hares are born above ground, covered in fur and with their eyes open. Rabbits are born naked and blind in burrows.
  • Rabbits breed quickly – a female can have 20 babies every month during the breeding season, and her babies will have their own families after 6 months.
  • One single rabbit could have more than 33 million offspring in just 3 years, if they all survived to breed.
  • A single mouse can produce up to 34 young in one litter.