brown rat

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

brown rat

The common domestic rat (Rattus norvegicus), which is found worldwide and is a destructive pest of crops and stored food and a carrier of disease. Also called Norway rat.


small, furred mammal; members of the family Murinae (Old World rats) and the family Cricetinae (New World rats) both of the order Rodentia. They are omnivorous, nocturnal, do not hibernate and live commensally with humans. They have pointed snouts, a long, thin, almost hairless tail. Only some of the members of the rat and allied groups are listed below.

rat bite fever
black rat
Old World rat with long tail and ears. Called also Rattus rattus.
brown rat
Old World rat with short tail and ears. Called also Rattus norvegicus.
rat flea
kangaroo rat
a solitary rodent with long legs with which it progresses in leaps like a kangaroo and uses its large tail as a balancer. Called also Dipodomys deserti.
rat leprosy
a chronic, largely cutaneous disease of rats caused by Mycobacterium lepraemurium and characterized by subcutaneous granuloma and similar involvement of superficial lymph nodes, containing large numbers of acid-fast organisms. The disease has little similarity to nor any relationship with human leprosy. See also feline leprosy.
Long-Evans rat
laboratory rat with brown or black head and shoulders.
musk rat
properly called muskrat and is really a water vole. Called also Ondatra zibethica.
pack rat
New World rat-like creature. Called also Neotoma spp., wood rat.
sand rat
see gerbil.
Sprague-Dawley rat
albino laboratory rat.
rat tooth, teeth
describes the type of points on surgical instruments with a single point on one side which interlocks with two points on the other side.
water rat
properly called water vole; in Australia, water rat is a native rodent Hydromys chrysogaster.
white rat
common laboratory rat.
Wistar rat
a white laboratory rat.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are thought to be around 81million brown rats in the UK.
According to them, such pathogens have also been found in fleas that live on gerbils, cotton rats and brown rats.
Yes, I know grey squirrels are such pretty furry little things, but then so are the reds and they belong in England; grey squirrels and brown rats do not.
Brown rat One of the most common rodents in Europe, the brown rat is particularly prevalent in the UK.
We now have evidence of a year-on-year increase in brown rat infestations over the last seven years of 39 per cent.
However, in 1 brown rat, L and N gene sequences from the kidney and spleen samples differed by 4 and 6 bases, respectively, suggesting the possibility of 2 strains of BeV in the same rat.
However, there's now a theory that the reason why the plagues diminished and eventually disappeared is that the Black Rat was displaced by the Brown Rat, which was less prone to carry the fleas and, therefore, rats were both our destroyers and saviours.
The National Rodent Survey Report for 2006 concluded that the main cause of brown rat infestations were problems with drainage/ sewerage and the main cause of rats in gardens was related to bird feeding.
IT WAS a shock to see a large brown rat foraging in our garden a few weeks ago.
The brown rat has big ears, grey-brown fur, a pointed nose and a long pink, scaly, hairless tail.