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Fancy/ Dumbo Rat (Rattus norvegicus)

(My Dumbo Rat Holly curled up in my scarf.)


(Randi, she used to be my rat.)
Fancy Rat: Dumbo, Manx, Hairless
Rattus norvegicus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Subphylum: Vertebrata

Class: Mammalia

Subclass: Theria

Infraclass: Eutheria

Order: Rodentia

Suborder: Myomorpha

Family: Muridae

Subfamily: Murinae

Genus: Rattus

Species: Rattus norvegicus


Species Description


Different types of Fancy rats are bread for different behavior, Dumbo rats are bread for their big ears and their sweet personality, some can be considered hyper, and are very disruptive. Generally it depends on the rat. The Fancy rat is the domesticated version of the brown rat, which is known by many names including the Norway rat.

Dumbo rats are normally 4-10 inches in length (excluding tail) this partially dependent on age.

Range of colors and markings include but are not limited to: gray, tan, brown, white, black, blue (which is a soft gray color, and it is very hard to get a pure blue rat so the bloodline is followed very closely by breeders (whereas when a gerbil is gray in color it is called lilac)) hairless, spotted, single color, hooded, Berkshire, and many more. (The rat in the picture's name is Randi she is a fancy rat. She is a hooded tan rat.)

(A picture of a hairless rat grooming a dumbo rat at Petsmart)

Live about three years (in captivity). Although Dumbo rats can survive in the wild if they are released from captivity. 


Food web:

Dumbo rats are primary consumers, or secondary consumers depending on the food web. This makes them a heterotroph because they have to depend on another organism for nourishment. Rats need a balanced diet; they like humans need whole grain protein and vegetables. In fact it is encouraged to give rats dog food because it provides the protein that is needed. Young rats enjoy puppy food while older rats should get adult dog food. The store brand pet foods also work with proper protein supplements. Often times rats are depicted as herbivores but really they are omnivores

(Another Dumbo rat from Petsmart)

Trophic pyramid:


Dumbo rats or any other kind of rats are nowhere close to being endangered. People keep on breading them as pets, although there is no such thing as a purebred rat, they are mostly bread for coloration, fur quality, ears, tails, and temperament not for a specific breed. Dumbo rat merely refers to the position and size of the ears, and Manx rat refers to the lack of tail.
The main limiting factor is how many people want them as pets.


(My Rat Randi)

Dumbo rats are domesticated, although they could live without human intervention.
Although rats live all around the world, especially domesticated rats, the fancy rat's closest wild rat relative is the brown rat, also known as the Norway rat. Originally the brown rat originated in Northern China. The following temperatures and rainfall measurements are for Shanghai. The biome for this area is the Temperate Forrest.

Temperature range:

Diurnal: Average Minimum and Maximum Temperatures

There is very little snow in Shanghai, and when it does snow it creates terrible problems, because it is so rare.
In Temperate Forests there are many kinds of plants. The trees in the Temperate Forests are mostly deciduous although there are a few pine trees. Lichen, moss, ferns and shrubs are all common on the ground. 
In Temperate Forests there are many kinds of animals, such as Bears, squirrels, birds and of course rats.

Depending on whether the rat is domesticated or not it has a different type of niche. When a rat is domesticated it normally lives in a cage. When a rat is wild it lives in a ground burrow, normally near a tree or rock which gives a sturdy ceiling. This not only acts as a place for it to sleep, but also makes a good food storage place. Rats who are domesticated also have tendency to burrow, although the burrows are not as deep, due to the restriction of the cage. When they are in a cage they need a small place to sleep that is compact.

Range map:
Rats live everywhere except the dark brown and the blue regions. Rats live everywhere except the tops of mountains and the polar regions.

(My rat Squeak)


Rats have many fascinating adaptations, including being able to climb extremely well, they also can jump two feet high, they can learn, they can be trained to come to their name, as well as learn from experiences, such as if they or another rat gets caught in a trap, they will learn to avoid that kind of trap. They can hold their breath underwater for as long as three minutes and can swim really well.
After a roughly 23 day gestation period the baby rats are born with their eyes closed, after about fourteen days their eyes open, once their eyes open they start eating solid foods but they still have to consume their mother's milk for at least 28 days after they are born. Within about two weeks of them no longer needing their mother's milk they leave the family. Although it is necessary for them to stay with their family for at least six weeks to nourish their minds, the can reach sexual maturity before they leave home. Females have been known to get pregnant before they are off of their mother's milk. Males do not reach sexual maturity until at least five weeks of age, so an older male would have to have access to the young female if she is to become pregnant at that age. Rats stop growing when they are about half a year old. Rats are social creatures. They are very susceptible to illness, which is probably why the Lab Rat was bread. A rat's teeth grow nine inches in a year. Generally fancy rats live for around three years although both sides of this scale are common.

(This is a picture of a Blue Dumbo Rat named Holly)

There is some sexual dimorphism in Dumbo rats. Female rats are slightly smaller than the males ranging from 200g-500g, whereas the males range from 400g-700g. In other words, females are generally smaller than males, but that is not always the case.

Go to this Link to see the Cladogram or Phylogenetic Tree (graphic), (Use of the images is restricted without having permission)

Ancestors/Fossil Descriptions (graphic)

This is a general picture of a giant prehistoric rodent, who's full scull was unearthed about two years ago. It was the size of a car, and probably lived much of it's life with it's lower half in water. Which would have allowed for it to not have to put as much weight on it's legs. It's teeth prove that it ate soft vegetation. It is called Josephoartigasia monesi. It was as about as big as a hippo, making it as big as a car.  It was imune to many of the preadators of the age, like saber-tooth and large flightless birds. It was it's size that saved it.

Quite a difference in size huh? (This is my Rat Bubble)

Currently even the brown rat is rated "least concern" meaning that there is no need to worry about it being endangered extinct or even close to any of these. It is the most well to do.

 Dumbo rats are a domesticated animal, that is: cute, cuddly, smart, not endangered, lovable (when their flees are not giving them a bad rap, by the way it was the humans fault for the Plague, they got rid of all the cats, which kept the rat population down, which kept the flee population down, when the rats got free reign so did the flees, causing devastation. Isn't it amazing when pray animals are permitted to run without a trustworthy predator around to keep an eye on them?) pet that lives everywhere except the Polar Regions and the tops of mountains.

Works Cited

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