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   Rattus exulans mammal
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    Rattus norvegicus
    brown rat (English), common rat (English), isorotta (Finnish), Norway rat (English), pouhawaiki (Maori), rat surmolot (French), Rata de noruega (Dominican Republic), rata noruega (Spanish), ratto di fogna (Italian), ratto grigio (Italian), rotta (Finnish), sewer rat (English), surmolotto (Italian), tikus riul (Indonesia), topo delle fogne (Italian), Wanderratte (German), water rat (English)

    Norway rat in tussock on Campbell Island (Photo: Peter and Judy Morrin Wildlife Photography) - Click for full size Norway rat taking bait on Campbell Island (Photo: Peter and Judy Morrin Wildlife Photography) - Click for full size Dead Norway rat on Campbell Island (Photo: Peter and Judy Morrin Wildlife Photography) - Click for full size Norway rat eating penguin on Campbell Island (Photo: Peter and Judy Morrin Wildlife Photography) - Click for full size

    Rattus exulans has less than one third the maximum body weight of Rattus norvegicus (130g compared to 450g), and it has a much shorter maximum head-body length (excluding tail) than Rattus norvegicus (180mm compared to 275mm). Its tail length is approximately the same as its head-body length and it has 8 nipples compared to the Norway rat’s 12. Droppings left by Rattus exulans are half as long (6.4-9.0 mm) as the Norway rat’s (13.4-19.1 mm). Rattus exulans is an agile climber. It is not known to burrow but digs small holes and nests mainly on the ground. It feeds on the ground and in trees and is an infrequent swimmer. Rattus norvegicus burrows extensively, nests underground and is a strong swimmer. It climbs much less frequently than other rats and is very wary (Cunningham and Moors, 1993).

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland