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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fawn Tail Ear Mammal Vertebrate Degu Hamster Muridae Rat Gerbil Hamster Degu Muridae

On another post it was pointed it that this might not be a norway rat which I always assumed he was. I live in the most north western part of Washington state. (Almost I live on the peninsula) and Need and expert opinion cause he looks like all the types of rats I have looked, to me. My husband thinks he looks like a wood rat. Someone else said roof rat. Can anyone tell me with certainty?
 

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For me, does it matter? he looks a bit on the wild side, but , if you are happy with him, and he is comfortable with you,,just enjoy
 

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Oh I am very happy with him. I am just curious.... like a cat.... Also I like to know as much as I can about Wilber. He is my little buddy.

btw he was wild. But I got him when he was 10 days old, and i vet I brought him too said he is too tame to release. Not that I would want to.
 

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Rats do look a lot alike... his ears look large like a black rat and his nose, in profile, looks blunt like a wood rat.. but he's young so his body might grow and he'll be more proportional as an adult... and some brown rats do have big ears and short snouts. So I won't make the call although from where you live and his general pudgy body shape I'm inclined to say brown rat. In person, I don't think I'd have a problem, the rats are behaviorally pretty different. Roof rats are arboreal tree dwellers and are great climbers and jumpers (think squirrel), brown rats can climb really well too, but being pudgier they tend to like to go to dark places under things... they naturally make burrows in the ground..... For the most part wood rats rarely get affectionate, if ever, so I'm guessing not a wood rat... In the end the adult size will be a dead giveaway... brown rats get larger and plumper than the others...

The general rule is that black rats are usually found in warm climates while brown rats are in places where there's a cold winter... Burrowing helps brown rats to get through the cold in winter. But in the days of large factories that never cooled off and trains moving around the country, isolated refugee populations of black rats did and could still exist.. With rats nothing is impossible... but if you have cold winters where you live and no large warm factory buildings or heated warehouses chances of Wilbur being a black rat are low.

I won't call him with absolute certainty from the 3 photos above. It's been a long time since I've seen a wood rat or a black rat up close and personal. But it is important to know what species Wilbur is. Different rats need a different diet and it will make a world of difference in finding him the proper friend.

I think one of the tells is whether he has hair on his ears, brown rats do while black rats don't... but again it's been a while since I looked it up.

Maybe you could post a few more pics of Wilbur moving around and maybe a video if you have one...

There are a couple people here who have had or have all three types of rats, it's best to wait for them to chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ya. I will try to get some video of him when he wakes up. But your right about his still growing. Thanks for the info and I will try to post a video sometime soon.
 

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he looks tiny, with big ears to me, so I would say roof rat (also called a black rat). He's very cute.

If he is, he would eat more fruits and nuts than a norway, who have appetites closer to our own. :p

Woodrats or packrats have hair on their tails. I can't see his tail, but they look quiet a bit different than black or norways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
he is kinda of a picky eater some times. He likes oats, carrots, bread, nuts, pears sometimes broccoli. lol He is only 3 months so I might have to wait till he is full grown.


oh and he LOVES yogurt but who doesn't.
 

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An adorable one :D
 

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Keep in mind the attached link refers to fully grown specimens.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_rat#/media/File:Comparison_Black_Rat_Brown_Rat_EN.svg

When you look at ear size, you are comparing it to the size of their head... Adult rats tend to have bigger broader heads than pups, so the same ears will look smaller on adults.

That said a friend told me she raised a black rat pup she found in NJ... I've seen all matter of things living in NJ, including flying squirrels... and I've never seen a single black rat... but she lived in Perth Amboy, which is a very old formerly port city and then an industrial city founded in the 1700's. So it could be possible... believe it or not there's actually a colony of wild parrots in NJ too, and I've actually seen one... Just because something is highly unlikely it isn't impossible. Still black rats would most likely need a warmish place where they could overwinter. They aren't going to survive long in the trees like they can in Florida or California.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
lol. the parrot thing is awesome. I don't know if washington state would be as diverse. but who knows. seattle is a port town as well.
 

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http://weirdnj.com/stories/bizarre-beasts/edgewater-parrots/

There's a similar colony in West New York, NJ another one in Upstate NY and one in Connecticut from what I've heard... They nest and keep warm on electric transformers... I was in a pet shop in Somerset when someone brought an injured one in, it is actually an attractive smaller parrot. Oddly enough the pet shop owner advised the person that it would be against the law to set the bird free again and that it should technically be destroyed. Naturally no one actually killed the bird and the store helped the fellow to get his new parrot situated until it could get better... I don't know whether the fellow broke the law and set it free again. But it was rather freaky to actually meet a wild New Jersey parrot.

The odds are that if you catch a wild bird in NJ, it won't be a parrot... but anything is possible.
 

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Definitely not a norway rat, its ears are quite big. Id say either black or wood rat, I come from a place where there arent any wood rats so I cant say for sure. It might help to look up coat color and tail lengths of these two species and compare to your rat, because black rats have different body length to tail length ratio compared to norway rats. Might be a similar case with black and wood rats too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
the only this about tail length is that when i first got him the tip of his tail shiveled and fell off. So I don't know or am not sure how long it would be but I will investigate with an estimate.
 

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Wood rats have furred tails, so I don't think that's it. I mean, there's many different species so maybe there's exceptions? But as far as I know a furred tail is a common trait across wood rat species.

Rat Daddy is right about Norway rats being found more often in cooler climates and roof rats in warmer climates, but Washington state isn't outside of roof rats' range and I believe they are in fact found there.

To me, this totally looks like a roof rat. He actually looks almost exactly like two of mine, especially when they were younger.

One difference I believe between Norway rats and roof rats that I read is that roof rat males have larger testicles. I'm not sure if it's enough of a difference to help with identification but uuuh fun fact at the very least. (unless it's not even true which is also totally possible)

Also, roof rats use their tails in an almost prehensile manner. Not actually grabbing things or hanging from them, but wrapping it around things to help get a grip while balancing/climbing. I've felt them do it on my skin and the texture and coarse hairs actually do let them get some kind of grip or leverage. I'm not sure if Norway's do this?? Someone told me they do not but maybe that was just their rats. I'd be really interested to hear from other people on this! If not that might be a helpful identifying behavior.
 
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