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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So...silly question of the day...you know how you hear about allegedly giant rats that supposedly live in the sewers?.....Is this really a large species of rat? Exaggerated accounts? Mutants? Myth?.....it'd be cool to have a dog sized rat that's all I'm saying
 

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I've wondered the same thing since all my life, my mother has told me stories about the giant sewer rats in the outskirt of a large, industrial city where she grew up. She said they were horrifying to look at and aggressive as well... in fact, her friend was said to be attacked by sewer rats as an infant when she was left unattended in her bassinet. (Maybe they had become aggressive because of humans fighting them?) These memories of rats as a thing to be feared seem to be the reason why my mother is so grossed out by the idea of me having rats. She seems to have a hard time wrapping her mind around the idea of them as pets. Maybe the fear of the rats in the sewers exaggerates their size in people's minds until they are imagined to be dog-sized?
 

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Personally, I think it's exaggeration and people mistaking other species (opossums, perhaps) for rats. Rats (Rattus norvegicus) just don't/can't get that big.

Yeah, from wikipedia:

"Adult body weight averages 350 g (12 oz) in males and about 250 g (9 oz) in females.[SUP][9][/SUP] Exceptionally large individuals can reportedly reach 900 to 1,000 g (32 to 35 oz) but are not expected outside of domestic specimens. Stories of rats attaining sizes as big as cats are exaggerations, or misidentifications of other rodents, such as the coypu and muskrat. In fact it is common for breeding wild brown rats to weigh (sometimes considerably) less than 300 g (11 oz).[SUP][10][/SUP][SUP][11]"[/SUP]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like I knew "sewer rats" weren't rattus rattus or rattus norveigicus but I just didn't know if there were giant "rats".....but a coypu......now that's a giant "rat"
 

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I took a $1.00 freakshow tour that claimed to have the worlds largest rat, it was absolutely huge, but it was also a nutria. Nutrias look very much like giant rats. And if you don't mind keeping your rat in a bathtub or back yard pond, nutria's are said to make good pets, like rats, they are intelligent social animals. There is a pacific island rat very similar to our domestic rats that gets much larger than our rats too, and it's also reported to be pretty docile if not friendly even when picked up from the jungle floor. To my knowledge it doesn't exist in captivity yet.

I've seen two large wild rats, one lived in a cookie factory, and could usually be found munching salt free crackers when the plant was closed, but with unlimited food it had a reason for being very large and I saw another one crossing the street near my home, also jumbo, but no world record rat... Most wild rats I've seen close up actually look slim and on the small side, no more than 6 to 8 oz. As there are humans over 7 feet tall, there are no doubt some pretty big rats out there, but I don't think there's a species or a valid strain of giants. If there are a few rats over two pounds out there, like there are 400 lb humans, I'd suggest they are pretty uncommon. Perhaps they are more noticeable then their normal counterparts, but they're oddballs in a world where wild rats are usually smaller than domestic ones. Three pound rats most likely occur in the same frequency as 9 foot humans. If someone says they saw one, I wouldn't argue the point, they may have, but I wouldn't expect to see one any time soon.
 

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I once had a teacher that had lived in New York city and she told us about a rat that she literally saw crawl out of a toilet in her apartment one time. She said it was about one foot long (not including tail), but again...who knows how accurate that measurement was. I know I'd be freaked out if something crawled out of my toilet at night..Possibly too freaked out to report accurate size. I have heard of male rats getting that long (although rare) so I guess it's possible.
 

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i have seen a wild rat the size of a small house cat took a few looks to make sure but i inly saw it once and there is no telling why it was so big it could have been natural could have been a poison or anything
 

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My dad swears the sewer rats in the city (NY) are huge but I've never personally witnessed one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah I guess a coypu is also called a nutria...I Google it...it's on my list of pets I want now.....if I ever have a bathtub.....im getting one! Cute cute cute!
 
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