Posted on Nov 5, 2021 23
Ubiquitous rodents are sometimes, of course, a problem for humans, especially if we are talking about mice or rats. However, these animals are extremely interesting from a scientific point of view - cunning, prolific, perfectly adaptable to a variety of habitats. They can survive almost anywhere, from metropolitan areas to wildlife. And, of course, we should not underestimate the contribution of rodents in medicine - it was on them conducted many experiments during the work on new drugs and other medicines.
Facts about rodents.
- Their teeth grow throughout their lives, so they need to chew on something constantly to grind them.
- Rats are so good at surviving that they are found even at research stations in Antarctica, where they enter despite all precautions.
- Rodents are common on all continents except Antarctica (stations with scientists don’t count, since rodents won’t survive outside them) and some remote uninhabited islands.
- In the Middle Ages, rats caused terrible epidemics that devastated Europe, as they carried deadly diseases for which there was no cure at the time.
- The largest representative of rodents is the capybara, or water viper. These animals grow up to 130 centimeters.
- Some rodents can fly, such as flying squirrels. More precisely, not to fly, but to glide, flying from tree to tree.
- All of their species have at least one pair of permanently growing teeth in their upper and lower jaws.
- The total number of teeth in rodents varies from 12 to 22.
- Paleontologists have established that the first rodents appeared on Earth about 60 million years ago.
- In the African country of The Gambia, native rodents are used as bomb squads to detect minefields.
- The largest rodent that ever existed on earth was a species called Josephoartigasia monesi. They looked like capybaras, and were up to 3 meters long and up to 1.5 meters high at the withers, with incisors up to 30 cm long. They were found in South America, but became extinct between 2 and 4 million years ago, according to various estimates.
- The smallest of rodents are the dwarf African mice. Adults are usually only 3 centimeters in length.
- Some rodents, such as mice, people scare away with special devices that emit ultrasound, which we ourselves can not hear. But such devices have no effect on rats.
- In Asia, rodents are one of the major factors limiting rice production. - they constantly ravage rice paddies and granaries.
- Studies have shown that rodents, like humans, can develop an addiction to alcohol.
- Rodents have repeatedly appeared on banknotes and coins in various countries, such as Belarus and Canada.
- In North America, there are rock squirrels that have adapted to life in conditions of water scarcity. They can get the moisture they need from food and do not drink for 70-90 days.
- The fastest rodent in the world is the common hare. When running, it can reach speeds of up to 72 km/h - this is the officially recorded record.
- There are more rats living in big cities than people.
- The teeth of some rodent species can withstand pressure of 500 kg per square centimeter.
- Rats are the rodents with the sharpest sense of smell. There are about 100,000 receptors in their sensitive nose, allowing them to detect poison in food, even if its fraction there is not over one millionth.
- Many rodents are cunning and intelligent predators. Rats, for example, eagerly eat mice.
- Their different species lead to either a daytime or nocturnal lifestyle. In Mexico, for example, there are predatory hamsters, which hunt only at night.
- One of the most common heraldic animals is the beaver, which also belongs to the rodents.
- The record of longevity among these animals belongs to the Malayan porcupine, which lived as long as 27 years.