Many a Big Apple dweller, at some point, has reacted when crossing paths with those other urban residents—rats. But Manhattanites should be grateful that they don’t have to encounter some of the rats that live in East Africa. The African crested rat, or Lophiomys imhausi, can grow to be 21 inches long—at least twice the size of the common sewer rat. And if that weren’t enough to induce a person to shriek, some of the African rodent’s hairs are slathered with poison, according to a recent study (Proc. R. Soc. B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1169). Dogs especially might want to think twice before tangling with the large rodent, says lead researcher Jonathan Kingdon of the University of Oxford.
by Lauren K. Wolf |
September 19, 2011