A question about rats

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Subject: A question about rats
From: "Steve Holliday" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2007 15:50:43 +1100
Apologies for the mammal question but does anyone know whether Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus) occur in Canberra, I haven't been able to find out either from the net or books. I found a rat that next door's dog had killed (during one of his regular escapes) on our back lawn this morning. At first I assumed Black Rat, which we see here every now and then, but this looked a bit larger and stockier, with a thicker tail. Unfortunately it was so badly chewed that I couldn't determine ear length (which is a good way to separate the two spp), one ear was gone altogether, and only a bit of the other was left. Head-body length was about 19cm, with the tail slightly shorter, although at least part of it was missing. Colour of the upperparts was grey-brown with some longer black guard hairs, underparts were paler. Probably just a large Black Rat, but any suggestions either way welcome!
ps I haven't saved the specimen, it was already fly-blown and not very nice. Guess I could dig it up again if anyone's desperate to see it.
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