Mice and rats are both rodents, but they are different creatures. Mice and rats may not only look different, they’re unalike behaviorally, too.
The term “rat” is used to describe any medium-sized rodent having a long, thin tail. A lot of rodents classify as rats. Norway rats and roof rats (black rats) are the ones typically found within the Greater Houston area.
The term “mouse,” meanwhile, describes any tiny, tin-tailed rodent about the size of a sparrow. Similar to rats, mice appear in many forms. Field mice, house mice, and deer mice are the ones typical mice seen by homeowners within the Greater Houston area.
While sometimes similar in appearance, rats and mice share distinct differences.
Juvenile rats, to begin with, are often mistaken for mice, until they evidently grow into significantly larger rodents.
Typically, a rat’s growth ceases at a body length of eight inches and a tail length of nine inches. They weigh an average of one pound. Mice, however, rarely achieve a body or tail length over three inches.
Quick Physical Differences Between Mice & Rats
- Mice are often more brown than rats, and they have darker-toned bellies.
- While a rat’s tail normally carries black, scaled rings, a mouse’s tale is smooth.
- A rat’s feet, too, are longer than a mouse’s, as are its ears.
Rats and mice share quite a few behavioral differences. In most cases, mice share curiosity traits not owned by rats. Rats, frequently, are more cautions than mice. Additionally, a rat’s behavior is typically avoidant of new items placed in the rat’s path. Mice are investigative, are more likely to be bold. Because of this, mice are easier to trap than rats.
Diet and Living Differences
While both mice and rats have varied diets, a mouse is more likely to feed upon plants and grains. Mice are more likely to build nests in hidden areas near food sources, too, while rats are typically more “nomadic” in achieving dietary goals, burrowing under buildings, under plants and along fences.
A female rat can carry up to six liters of 12 infants, yearly. With a lifespan of about one to one and one-half years, a rat’s reproductive season is often springtime. Mice, while producing about the same amount of offspring, and in the same season, benefit from an early reproductive age. A mouse often begins reproducing at around six weeks of age, while a rat begins reproducing at around three months of age.
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