Seven fascinating facts about rats. (Inspired by my personal crusade against the rat colony in my alley.)
1. The so-called Norway rat--which is actually from Mongolia (and is the species found in Chicago, my foes)--arrived in North America on ships from Europe in the 18th century.
2. Rats box -- they rear up and push each other with their forepaws. It is not known whether they gamble on the bouts.
3. In 19th century England, rat baiting was popular: the rats were placed in a pit with a dog and wagers were placed on which dog would kill the most rats.
4. What about the ROUS’s? Fossil remains of a rodent that lived in South America 4 million years suggest a creature more than 8 feet long and weighing 2,000 pounds.
5. In the 1970s, Chicago’s Bureau of Rodent Control killed rats by pumping cyanide gas into their burrows and beating them to death with broomsticks when they came out for fresh air.
6. Rats occasionally surface in city toilets. Seriously, this is not an urban legend. There are youtube videos.
7. You can register your “fancy rat.”
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