The World’s Largest Rat Species
Rats are one of the world’s most ubiquitous pests. They are widely reviled for carrying disease, destroying property, and generally being a nuisance. In addition to being gross and scary, the rodents can get terrifyingly large, especially in certain conditions. Here are a few of the world’s largest rats.
This species is also referred to at the brown rat, common rat, sewer rat, and more. It has so many names because it’s one of the world’s most common rat species. Despite what its name implies, this animal is not confined to Scandinavia. It’s stowed away on ships travelling around the world for centuries, infesting almost every country with a port. It’s very common in America and prefers cities where there’s plenty of garbage to eat and enclosed areas to live in. Norway rats can get to be over two feet long and weigh two and a half pounds—but that’s far from the world’s largest.
Gambian Pouched Rat
Sometimes called the African giant pouched rat, makes its home in Sub-Saharan Africa, though a minor invasive population lives in Florida. This rodent usually weighs a bit less than three pounds, but can reach a length of more than three feet with its incredibly long tail. Though sometimes considered pests, Gambian pouched rats are frequently a meal amongst the natives, and can even be trained to detect landmines and tuberculosis.
Bosavi Woolly Rat
Clocking in at an impressive thirty three inches and three and a third pounds, the Bosavi wooly rat is the most recent addition to this list. The animal is incredibly rare and was discovered only recently. It makes its home in the remote volcanic rainforests of Papua New Guinea. As large as this guy is, though, it pales in comparison to the largest member of the Really, Really Big Rat Club…
Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rat
High up in the trees of the even higher-altitude rainforests of the Philippines lives the Northern Luzon giant cloud rat. It’s so named because the area it prefers to live is usually foggy and cloudy, and because it’s gigantic. Though it’s “only” about thirty inches long, the giant cloud rat can easily weigh six pounds. Because it’s so large, it’s often hunted for its plentiful meat. As such, it’s at risk of becoming an endangered species.
Rats, even small ones, are unwelcome pests in any home. Next time you see one, though, be grateful it’s probably just a common brown or grey rat and not a giant cloud rat!