This Brown Rat was taking advantage of the free seed put out for wild birds at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
The Great Britain mammal fauna is somewhat impoverished compared to that of continental Europe due to the short period of time between the last ice age and the flooding of the land bridge between Great Britain and the rest of Europe. Only those land species which crossed before the creation of the English Channel and those introduced by humans exist in Great Britain.
The Brown Rat, also referred to as common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, brown Norway rat, Norwegian rat, or wharf rat is one of the best known and most common rat.
One of the largest muroids, it is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25 cm (10 in) long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350 g (12 oz) and the female 250 g (9 oz). Thought to have originated in northern China, this rodent has now spread to all continents except Antarctica, and is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America – making it by at least this particular definition the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas.
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