Amazing Rodent Facts

   Mickey Mouse is known as "Topolino" in Italy.
   In Malaysia, where barn owls were introduced to control plagues of rats, each barn owl family killed about 1,300 rats a year!
   In ancient Egypt, mummies were made of cats, and embalmed mice were placed with them in their tombs. In one ancient city, over 300,000 cat mummies were found.
   The average cat food meal is the equivalent to about five mice.
   There are more than 1,000 chemicals in a cup of coffee. Of these, only 26 have been tested, and half caused cancer in rats.
   Lacking a collar-bone, the deer mouse can flatten it's body so much it can squeeze into an opening one quarter of an inch high.
   Mice feeding on colored crayons will produce droppings based on the color of the crayon they were feeding on.
   There are believed to be about 300 separate varieties of house mice in the United States.
   Mice are more acceptable to humans than rats, possibly because of what is known as the "Disney influence."
   Some scientists speculate that mice developed from rats under conditions where it was less important to be large and ferocious than to be able to get into a smaller hole.
   The word "mouse" can be traced to the Sanskrit word "musha" which is derived from a word "to steal."
   Rats are omnivorous, eating nearly any type of food, including dead and dying members of their own species.
   Rats are cautious, and if their food is in an exposed area where it cannot be consumed quickly,they usually carry or drag it to a hiding place.
   Rats rely predominantly on smell, taste, touch and hearing as opposed to vision. They move around mainly in the dark, using their long, sensitive whiskers and the guard hairs on their body to guide them.
   Rats damage structures, chew wiring and cause electrical fires, eat and urinate on human and animal food, and carry many diseases.
   Rats can get into your home through a hole about the size of a quarter.
   Rats memorize specific pathways and use the same routes habitually.
   What we have come to call the Plague was brought on a merchant ship from Tana in the Crimea to Messina in Sicily in the year 1347. The ship contained rats that were infected with the disease. The disease took many forms. The Bubonic Plague, carried by fleas on the rats, attacked the lymphatic gland system and caused swelling. Pneumonic Plague attacked the lungs and was more devastating. The plague, called the Black Death, went through Sicily to Italy and then throughout Europe and England. It had reached the entire continent by 1350. During these years, the population dropped by as much as 50%, in some locations much higher. The plague continued to exist into the fifteenth century and with less intensity in the sixteenth and seventeenth century.


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