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Temporal range: Early Pleistocene - Recent
Rattus norvegicus 1.jpg
The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Murinae
Genus: Rattus
Fischer de Waldheim, 1803

64 species


Stenomys Thomas, 1910

The genus Rattus refers to a specific genus of muroid rodents, all typically called rats. However, the term rat can also be applied to species outside of this genus.

Species and description

The best-known Rattus species are the black rat (R. rattus) and the brown rat (R. norvegicus). The group is generally known as the Old World rats or true rats and originated in Asia. Rats are bigger than most Old World mice, which are their relatives, but seldom weigh over 500 grams (1.1 lb) in the wild.[1]

Taxonomy of Rattus

The genus Rattus is a member of the giant subfamily Murinae. Several other murine genera are sometimes considered part of Rattus: Lenothrix, Anonymomys, Sundamys, Kadarsanomys, Diplothrix, Margaretamys, Lenomys, Komodomys, Palawanomys, Bunomys, Nesoromys, Stenomys, Taeromys, Paruromys, Abditomys, Tryphomys, Limnomys, Tarsomys, Bullimus, Apomys, Millardia, Srilankamys, Niviventer, Maxomys, Leopoldamys, Berylmys, Mastomys, Myomys, Praomys, Hylomyscus, Heimyscus, Stochomys, Dephomys and Aethomys.[]

The genus Rattus proper contains 64 extant species. A subgeneric breakdown of the species has been proposed, but does not include all species.[]


Genus Rattus - Typical rats


The following phylogeny of selected Rattus species is from Pagès, et al. (2010).[2]


Rattus exulans

Rattus andamanensis

Rattus argentiventer

Rattus sp.


  1. ^ "Habits, Habitat & Types of Mice". Live Science. Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Pagès, Marie; Chaval, Yannick; Herbreteau, Vincent; Waengsothorn, Surachit; Cosson, Jean-François; Hugot, Jean-Pierre; Morand, Serge; Michaux, Johan (2010). "Revisiting the taxonomy of the Rattini tribe: a phylogeny-based delimitation of species boundaries". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 10: 184. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-184. PMC 2906473. Archived from the original on 2017-07-10.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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