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I wasn't sure what forum to put this in, sorry!

When I was younger, we had a few pet rats, and they were as big as any average rats; they weren't small.

We had a wild rat come into the house once and on investigating a noise in my bedroom, it ran across my feet, into the bathroom and stood in the light, looking at me for a second before running behind the bath. It was SO big and SO differently shaped from any tame rats I'd seen and it was actually really scary looking.

I always (wrongly) assumed it had been a black rat (as there are still numerous in Britain...even though everytime some are discovered the papers are all "omg, there are still black rats!" like they forgot the last time) but I've recently found out that black rats are actually smaller than brown rats, and therefore pet rats, and have bigger ears and are altogether more 'mousey' looking. (they're actually reeeeally cute @[email protected] )

So, did I just see a randomly huge brown rat? Or are there other types of rat like rodents that I haven't thought of?

The wild 'rat' was at least a foot and a half long just from nose to bottom (don't know how long its tail was, but it definitelty had one) and had a very long thin nose, its skull getting markedly bigger at the eye/ear area. It was very long and sleek...not skinny looking, and not plump either...more like, I guess, how a ferret looks, although it definitely wasn't a ferret!

It was pretty much exactly how cartoons portray wild rats...like the one in Lady and the Tramp....which is why I always just assumed a different type of rat. But now I'm ACTUALLY thinking about it properly, it was frickin' HUGE.
 

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It's all genetics. I've met a few very long very big boys while mine are mostly smaller than that. These boys were more than two of my hands could hold and very ferret like in shape. Usually the bigger ones get picked as feeders and thus aren't breeding in the us at least.
 

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Fair enough. I've not seen any that big before, and we don't have live feeder animals here. (Thankgoodness.)
I'd love to have a ratty as big as she was. (I'm assuming she, there were no huge testicles to go with the huge body! xD)

I feel kind of guilty that I was quite so terrified of it...but it was SO big and it was such a random event! It was like a monster!
But I bet she was making a nest...she was behind my open backed bookcase, so obviously with all the paper material.

We moved out of that house about a week after that (a leak from the maisonette above us was attracting all kinds of nature! And it was realy hard to keep a clean house with so much mess coming through...so our own piles attracted the cute things like mice, as well....) so I hope she didn't get exterminated or anything. ):
 

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My grandmother grew up extremely poor and in a very run down neighborhood. Shes borderline rat-phobic because of the monster "sewer rats" she had to deal with. She describes them much like you have and said they werent afraid of anything.

I dont show her pictures of my girls but one time she asked to see. I showed her a pic of my beige berkshire Sophie sitting on my shoulder, no tail showing. My grandmother looked at it for a second and said "oh thats tiny, looks like a mouse!" So whatever wild rats she had seen were apparently much bigger than the average pet rat! No idea what species they could have been, I guess just a wild brown rat.
 

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Memory and fear can make things look much bigger then reality as well. The shock of seeing this wild animal come running past you and the fear of it (cause regardless of how much we may like rats, if a wild one ends up in our face unexpectedly we're likely to be scared even a little bit) very well could have made it look larger then it was. Your age at the time, and how long ago it was, will effect the memory as well. Like when I was a year or two my grandma had two dogs, Brandi and Taffy. I remember them as great big dogs, when they were more cocker spaniel size. Brandi had a big head but Taffy wasn't very large, even though I remember them closer to Golden Retrievers or Old English Sheep Dogs. The neighbors had three or four Huskies and once when I was maybe 8 they broke through the fence (well we broke the fence and they pushed through) and I swear they were like giant wolves. When I saw them later they were much smaller then I thought at first. Our brains play funny tricks on us sometimes.
 

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There are in fact numerous rat like animals that are larger than rats, although I worked in a cookie factory once and one rat that lived there was absolutely huge...

Here in the US there are muskrats and nutria rats not to mention opossums that might be confused for rats and I'm thinking there are still a few Gambian pouched rats in captivity that could escape.

Last year I came across a side show attraction that was billed as the worlds largest rat. I paid the buck to get in and they had a stuffed nutria behind glass. It looked enough like a brown rat to fool crowds of people walking by every day.

I don't know if or when Gambian rats were imported to the UK or if you have nutrias there, in captivity or otherwise, but there are no doubt rodents I haven't seen that would fit the bill too not to mention rodent like marsupials. Or it might just have been a really huge brown rat. There may be something else that's native to your area that I don't know about and there have no doubt been critters imported to Britain for centuries that may or may not have made a home for themselves like the brown and black rats, or it could have been a one off something a sailor brought home from some far off port...

I believe you saw it, but I doubt we are ever going to know what it was unless you find anther one.
 

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The wild one we believe knocked up our Goose was huge. I believe it was part genetics and us currently having only females that made him seem very large.
 

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Mimsy,

A cross between a large wild rat and your goose conjures up some rather interesting offspring.... well at least now we know how the platypus came about. ;D
 

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Here in SA we do get field rats as we call them. (wild rats). They are brown and have black stripes down their back.
 

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Fair enough. I've not seen any that big before, and we don't have live feeder animals here. (Thankgoodness.)
I'd love to have a ratty as big as she was. (I'm assuming she, there were no huge testicles to go with the huge body! xD)
It could well have still been male, some wild origin rats i've seen have much neater testicles, probably to help keep them warm. Unless your looking for them they arent very obvious.

The wild rats i've seen have ranged from large chunky rats in well fed areas (not particuarly bigger than my large breeder boys) to quite small scrawny things in woodlands. A lot if diet dependant. Some of the size difference could be that your rats are on the smaller size. I know the first time i went to a rat show i was rather shocked at the size of even the does, never mind the fully grown bucks. Now i get to shock people at rat shows with my giant boys.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the interesting info, guys. o:

We don't have a great deal of wildlife here...so unless it was something escaped, I don't know. Probably just a big rat though.

xD Didn't know wildies had smaller looking testicles. Can't imagine having a boy who wasn't just....right there in your face!
 

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I had a pet rat who was two pounds, so a large wild wouldn't be too unusual especially if there was a lot of food available.
 

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In the UK there aren't a huge amount of wild rodents but there are definitely pet Gambian Pouched rats as i've seen them advertised locally. My nan moved into a new house a few years ago (also in the UK) and the rats that were living in her attic there were so large that she thought it must be a squatter still inside!!! (as they house was empty for months before she bought it)
But it turned out to be huge rats, the only time they ever caught one, they had to to get it in a huge cardboard box and duct tape the lid up so they could transport it to a field to release it.
Unfortunately they resorted to using poison in the end, i would have loved to have seen one for myself before hand, the only wild things i've ever seen are tiny mice, a deer and a fox!

Have you tried google imaging pictures of wild rodents found in the UK to see if one fits the profile of whatever you saw? :)
 

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There is a breeder in my state that produces high whites about two hours away from me. Coincidentally high whites had a way of turning up in my local feeder bin. Although pups were rare, lactating females were more common as they were kept as wet nurses... To be honest there were never a lot, but enough to guess with a certain element of certainty that the pups were culls and the females were retired breeder or breeders that produced inferior offspring.

Our Amelia was one of these rats, she got huge compared to anything else I ever raised. Fuzzy Rat was 21 oz and fat, out when Amelia stretched out to her full length she dwarfed her. I might add that she had a generally sleek shape too a longer pointier nose, high set ears narrower shoulders and a streamlined kind of a look. I means she looked sharp. She looked a whole lot like my part wild did, just 3 times the size. I've never judged a rat competition but I've got to think that's what judges might be looking for. I don't know how good the high white breeder really is, I've never met her, but I've got to be thinking if Amelia was a cull, she was producing some pretty big rats. Oddly the high white wet nurses in the feeder bin were on the smaller side, perhaps they were over-bred to the point of not reaching their full size?
 

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Tempy is quite large compared to my other boys. He weighs over 1lb and is at least 50% bigger then Buddy who is about the same age. And he's only 5-6 months old so he's still growing. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Have you tried google imaging pictures of wild rodents found in the UK to see if one fits the profile of whatever you saw? :)
I've never seen a fox, but I have seen badgers, they're HUGE! Way bigger than I thought they were. x_x

I've tried googling, yeah, but the only images that come anywhere near are cartoon rats. xD
The closest is just a regular old ratty, so I'm guessing everyone's right about me just not seeing one that big before. There was plenty of foodhouses (and plenty of boarded up ones which weren't boaded up very well...) and we lived in a pretty green space as wel, so lots of areas to thrive. The mice in the house were all fat and healthy, too, so it'd definitely have been at a good size.


Rat Daddy, yeah 'sharp' is a good word to describe it, it was well suited to being a rat is what it was. :3
 

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I've never seen a fox, but I have seen badgers, they're HUGE! Way bigger than I thought they were. x_x
Sadly, the only time i've ever see badgers is when they've been hit by a car and are at the side of the road :/ I got really close to the fox, i think it was firework night so maybe it was trying to get away from the noise but i was out walking at night and it was on the pavement right in front of me and then it jumped onto a garden wall and just stared at me. It was actually very cute, i really wanted to stroke it but that probably would have been a bad idea, haha!

As for the rat, yeah perhaps it was just very well fed. We use to have an online toy shop and we'd use empty boxes from my Grandad's pet shop to ship them off, of course they smelt of rodent food and sometimes even had a couple of seeds and whatnnot at the bottom. It didn't attract any rats, but we had a lot of mice and they all seemed pretty porky! I guess it didn't help that i use to deliberately lay out hamster food for them! I was only little and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Haha, my mum was non too pleased! :)
 
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