Rattus norvegicus - Brown Rat

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Mammalia - Order: Rodentia - Family: Muridae

Brown rat

Ratty, of Wind in the Willows fame, was not actually a rat at all, but a water vole. True rats, such as the brown rat shown above, have much more pointed noses and smaller 'hands'.

Brown rats originated in south-east Asia but have spread throughout the world. They are frequently found living in cellars and in old sewers in the UK and elsewhere, and they can be a threat to public health. Occasionally brown rats will colonise river banks, and they are good swimmers. They dig burrows, breed all through the year, and are extremely prolific, having up to five litters per year.


These unpopular little mammals reach maturity after just three months, and so eradicating them from towns and villages is extremely difficult.

Sue Parker's latest ebook is a revised and enlarged second edition of the acclaimed Wildflowers in the Algarve - an introductory guide. Full details here...

Buy it for just £3.95 on Amazon...

Sue Parker's 5-star acclaimed field guide to the Wild Orchids of the Algarve is now available as an ebook. Full details here...

Buy it for just £5.95 on Amazon...

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2024 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy