Brown Rat family Click to enlarge image
Brown Rat family Location:Monavale Date taken:1 September 2010 The introduced Brown Rat originates in SE Asia and is more elongated in the body than the native bush rats of Australia. Image: Kim Robertson
© Kim Robertson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    norvegicus
    Genus
    Rattus
    Family
    Muridae
    Order
    Rodentia
    Subclass
    Eutheria
    Class
    Mammalia
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Body 180-255 mm, Tail 150-215 mm, Weight 200-480 g

The Brown Rat is an introduced rodent.

Identification

The distinguishing characteristics of the Brown Rat include:

  • Front teeth: One pair of distinctive chisel shaped incisors with hard yellow enamel on front surfaces.
  • Head: Blunt muzzle with long whiskers.
  • Ears: Medium ears.
  • Colouring: Grey-brown above, white to grey below; shaggy bristly fur.
  • Tail: Short scaly tail, shorter than body.

Similar species

Black Rat; Water-rat.

Habitat

Brown Rats shelter under bushes, in sewers and other urban sites, or construct deep burrow systems, make nests of shredded materials. Brown Rats are closely associated with humans and are common in coastal urban areas.

Distribution