Black Rat Facts
Size 6.2-9.4 inch (16-24 cm) (body length)
Speed Up to 6.2 mph (10 km/h)
Weight 7-14 oz (200-400 g)
Lifespan 2-5 years
Food Grains, fruit, seeds, roots, mice, fish, invertebrates, eggs
Predators Owls, snakes, raccoons, cats
Habitat All over the world
Order Rodents
Family Murids
Scientific name Rattus
Characteristics Long tail
Author L.R.The Difference Between the Black Rat and the Brown Rat

Unlike the brown rat, the black rat is on the skinny side. The black rat’s ears and eyes are proportionately sized and their snouts are very pointy. The brown rat’s tail is shorter than its body, while it’s the other way round for the black rat.


The black rat, or house rat, was spread across the globe on ships. That’s why they’re also called “ship rats”. They originally lived in warm rocky landscapes in the Himalayas.

Black Rat Black Rat - Photo: pocketcanoe/Shutterstock

Rats as Holy Animals

Rats are considered holy in India, as they are loyal companions and steeds for the Indian god Ganesha.

The Rat - Spreader of Disease

Sometimes, feral rats suffer from rat fleas, which carried the plague. It can spread to humans (and vice versa). This is how rats spread the plague, and other diseases.

Black Rat Black Rat - Photo: Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock

Life Expectancy

A house rat can live for up to three years. But they sometimes even make it to six.

Good Sense

Rats have an exceptional sense of smell. They even recognize fellow rats by their smell. They use their beard hairs as an echo sounder. They make a sound and then use their hairs to work out the echo.

Black Rat Black Rat - Photo: Erni/Shutterstock

The Rat - a Star Athlete

For their size, rats are real star athletes. They can run at up to 6.2 mph (10 km/h) and keep up with a trained jogger. In theory. Of course, this small animal couldn’t keep up such a high speed for a whole jog. But they would manage 6.2 ft (10 m) in 3.6 seconds. For their size, this is remarkable.

This fact sheet was submitted by animalfunfacts.net fan L.R. Thanks for your amazing article! Do you want to write a fan fact sheet?

Black Rat Black Rat - Photo: Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock

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