The Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a common small rodent mammal and a muroid. It is also known as the Common Rat, the Street Rat, the Sewer Rat, the Hanover Rat, the Norway Rat, the Parisian Rat, the Water Rat, or the Wharf Rat.
The Brown Rat has coarse brown or grey fur. Its underbelly is lighter grey, brown, or whitish. It has a long body and a long tail. It has excellent hearing and sharp gnawing teeth.
It measures about 28 centimetres (11 inches) long. It is bigger than the Black Rat (Rattus rattus). Its tail measures 10-24 centimetres (4-9 inches) long.
The Brown Rat is common on all continents except Antarctica. However, it is most common in Europe and North America. It prefers to live close to human activity.
It is an omnivore, eating almost anything.
It is nocturnal, active mostly at night. It is terrestrial, living on the ground, but it is also a good swimmer.
The Brown Rat lives in large groups in burrows, sewers and cellars.
The Brown Rat produces lots of babies. The female has 7-14 live young in each litter, with about five litters a year.
The Brown Rat lives, on average, for 1-3 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM