It is quite often seen that a mouse and a rat are considered to belong from the same ancestors. You might yourself have been confused at times, whether it is a mouse or a rat that’s running around your house. It is like these creatures being brothers/sisters from another mother! But in spite of these predictions and claims, it is researched and claimed that a mouse is a mouse and a rat is just a rat! Though they belong to the same family, they are different animals with different features. These are not scientifically termed or referred as ‘mice’ and ‘rats’. They are known as ‘rodents’.
A mouse can be elaborated as a tiny, fistful size of a creature with a thin and long tail. A mouse usually can be seen in two colours grey and white. There are many types of mice. Like the house mice, spine mice, smoky mice, field mice, dormice, spiny mice etc. Mice are the species claimed to be one of the oldest in the history. It is seen that after humans and rats they are the most ancient mammals that have survived so long. There are researches that show that a lot of rodent types have evolved from mouse.
Another interesting investigation shows that it is not just today that this confusion regarding and mouse and rats exists. It prevails from quite a time. Romans called the mice as Mus Minimus which means small/little mouse. Whereas, it called a rat as Mus Maximus which means big mouse. For them both were mice only. So well, we are not just the freaks who think likewise.
A rat on the other hand is bit larger than a mouse. They are medium sized animals with very long swingy thin tail. There again different kinds of rats. Such as the kangaroo rats, Polynesian rats, black rats, African pouch rats, Norway rats, mole rats, wood rats etc. These are rodents basically that are most often referred to as rats. Theses rats don’t even resemble each other or are closely related.
History shows that rats may have originated somewhere in Asia. They were the descendents of anagalids which further gave rise to the rabbit group too. The population of rats can be seen all over the globe. And this distribution travel is a recent occurrence.
The most known species of a mouse is a house mouse. It’s everywhere around your surroundings. So it is necessary to know that they can be dangerous at times. They are unclean, pests, unhygienic and can cause disease if not a pet. Typically a mouse is long and slender with a not so hairy tail. It measures up to 28 to 130 mm and weigh up to 25 to 34 grams. A mouse can survive mostly two years, if in a lab. But if it is on its own, it can survive to the most five months. The most common reason being predomination.
The best known species of a rat is the black rat and the brown rat. A rat can survive nearly two to five years. The average span being three years. They are capable of weighing up to 300-500 grams.
Well, in spite of all these anatomical and physical differences it can be said that – both make exceptional pets. But even that can be a subject of debate to who’s better than whom.
Though both mice and rats look similar to the eyes, this might not be the case in petting those. Mice are like the jolly animals and can live o their own and interact with the more as compared to rats. You need quite some hands on them. These are some major differences you might face while considering either one of them.
- Both mice and rats are quite social, so must be kept in groups. Male mice are comparatively are comparatively aggressive so a herd of females should work well. Rats on the other side go well with their litter mates, buddies and family. A new arrival to the herd might be a problem.
- Rats are famously known as small replicas of dogs. They are on very good terms with their owners. They perform all kinds’ tricks and play along with them with respect to their high intelligence. Mice are not that people’s person. They like being on their own. Not interested in wooing their owners.
- A mouse need not be left out of its cage if in large group in a spacious cage. They manage to entertain themselves within it. A rat on the other hand needs to be left out at least once a while in a day.
- Irrespective of the differences both animals need the same housing and feeding care.
- Since a mouse is a little more slender and fragile pet, it is advisable to not allow small children to have them as pets. Rats are also small and require the same amount of care. But they are relatively larger in size so can be handled properly.
If still someone thinks they don’t know how to differentiate between the both. It is really simple. I am pretty sure all must have seen cartoons when kids! Yes, the JERRY from ‘ Tom & Jerry’ is a mouse. And how can you forget the ‘Ratatouille’ movie. It gives you the whole drama of the rat community.