Friday, March 7, 2014

Gambian pouched rat

Practically across Africa we can find the  Gambian pouched rat (Cricetomys gambianus), a huge colonizing rat is expanding around the world. Maybe everyone ye may know or ever seen a sewer rat. Those famous for being the protagonists animals, carriers and propagators of rabies and plague, the Black Death that killed millions of people in Europe and Asia, 800 years ago. Rat gray or black, are nothing compared to the  Gambian pouched rat. While the gray rat .... wait wait .... maybe you will get a comparative example, LOOKING DOWN.

Black Rat
 22 + 24 cm

 Total 46 cm

1 ft
 230 gr.

9 Oz
Brown Rat

 27+22 cm

Total 49 cm

1 ft
 520 gr.

18 Oz
Gambian pouched rat

 48 + 45 cm

Total 93 cm

3 ft 
 1500 gr.

59 Oz 

As you can see, the  Gambian pouched rat is 3 times heavier than the gray rat, the most common. It's almost as big as a cat, and I think that cats have to be very hungry to hunt  Gambian pouched rat.
The problem is that this rat is spreading worldwide. And wherever they go, they may not have predators and can become an invasive species that can of wiping out everything.

For example, they can be a big problem for the birds, and their eggs can be eaten by these rats, and can wreak havoc on entire populations of those regions colonializan. The United States has prohibited the sale of this animal as a pet because it is suspected of being behind pandemic in prairie dogs, and certain species of monkeys.

The "good" of these rats is that even being omnivorous and are able to eat tiny animaletes, seem to prefer the fruit and vegetable food. But the good, without quotes, is that man has taken advantage of its good sense of smell and its docile nature, and have achieved good results and is used for the detection of persons with tuberculosis, as it is able to smell the disease and is also used to detect landmines, being little heavy not activate the pump.

Gambian pouched rat do not have a very good view and virtually moves using the smell and hearing, and their habits are nocturnal ....

The strongest .... in Africa have been recorded fatal attack on human babies perpetrated by these rats. But let's be fair, that's an anecdote. The shark kills 300 people a year, the cobra kills 50,000 people, mosquitoes 2,000,000 or that our species has killed millions of sharks, millions of spiders, mosquitoes, lions, rats, wild cats, wolves, buffalo, chickens, snakes, etc ...