What Exactly Is A Rodent Again

What exactly Is A Rodent Again?
 

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One question we at Rapid Rodent Removal is What exactly is a Rodent? Its A Good question, the name atleast comes from the Latin rodere meaning “to gnaw”) are mammals of the order Rodentia. Rodents which are characterized by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws, They use their sharp incisors to gnaw food, excavate burrows, and defend themselves. Most eat seeds or other plant material, but some have more varied diets.

About 40% of all mammal species are rodents; they are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica. They are the most diversified mammalian order and live in a variety of terrestrial habitats, including human-made environments, most notably your attic if you’re reading this.

The Myomorpha, such as the brown rat, have enlarged temporalis muscles, making them able to chew powerfully with their molars. That means they do sound like monster in your attic.From Wiki
 

The suborder Myomorpha contains 1,137 species of mouse-like rodents, nearly a quarter of all mammal species. Included are mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, lemmings, and voles. They are grouped according to the structure of their jaws and molar teeth. Both their medial and lateral masseter muscles are displaced forward, making them adept at gnawing. The medial masseter muscle goes through the eye socket, a feature unique among mammals. Myomorphs are found worldwide (apart from Antarctica) in almost all land habitats. They are usually nocturnal seed-eaters.

 

rodent compare chart

 

Not All Rodents are Nocturnal

They Live in my Attic How can they see up there its so dark, and small.  The rodent page on Wikipidea has alot of great information ( http://ift.tt/1HxPOnz ) and touches on this very question.

Rodents, like all placental mammals except primates, have just two types of light receptive cones in their retina, a short wavelength “blue-UV” type and a middle wavelength “green” type. They are therefore classified as dichromats; however, they are visually sensitive into the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum and therefore can see light that humans can not. The functions of this UV sensitivity are not always clear. In degus, for example, the belly reflects more UV light than the back. Therefore, when a degu stands up on its hind legs, which it does when alarmed, it exposes its belly to other degus and ultraviolet vision may serve a purpose in communicating the alarm. When it stands on all fours, its low UV-reflectance back could help make the degu less visible to predators. Ultraviolet light is abundant during the day but not at night. There is a large increase in the ratio of ultraviolet to visible light in the morning and evening twilight hours. Many rodents are active during twilight hours (crepuscular activity), and UV-sensitivity would be advantageous at these times. Ultraviolet reflectivity is of dubious value for nocturnal rodents.

It goes even further to tell you about the social behavior in  the rodent kingdom.

Rodents exhibit a wide range of types of social behavior ranging from the mammalian caste system of the naked mole-rat, the extensive “town” of the colonial prairie dog, through family groups to the independent, solitary life of the edible dormouse. Adult dormice may have overlapping feeding ranges, but they live in individual nests and feed separately, coming together briefly in the breeding season to mate. The pocket gopher is also a solitary animal outside the breeding season, each individual digging a complex tunnel system and maintaining a territory.

Larger rodents tend to live in family units where parents and their offspring live together until the young disperse. Beavers live in extended family units typically with a pair of adults, this year’s kits, the previous year’s offspring, and sometimes older young.[38] Brown rats usually live in small colonies with up to six females sharing a burrow and one male defending a territory around the burrow. At high population densities, this system breaks down and males show a hierarchical system of dominance with overlapping ranges. Female offspring remain in the colony while male young disperse. The prairie vole is monogamous and forms a lifelong pair bond. Outside the breeding season, prairie voles live in close proximity with others in small colonies. A male is not aggressive towards other males until he has mated, after which time he defends a territory, a female, and a nest against other males. The pair huddles together, grooms one another, and shares nesting and pup-raising responsibilities.

Among the most social of rodents are the ground squirrels, which typically form colonies based on female kinship, with males dispersing after weaning and becoming nomadic as adults. Cooperation in ground squirrels varies between species and typically includes making alarm calls, defending territories, sharing food, protecting nesting areas, and preventing infanticide. The black-tailed prairie dog forms large towns that may cover many hectares. The burrows do not interconnect, but are excavated and occupied by territorial family groups known as coteries. A coterie often consists of an adult male, three or four adult females, several nonbreeding yearlings, and the current year’s offspring. Individuals within coteries are friendly with each other, but hostile towards outsiders.

Perhaps the most extreme examples of colonial behavior in rodents are the eusocial naked mole rat and Damaraland mole rat. The naked mole rat lives completely underground and can form colonies of up to 80 individuals. Only one female and up to three males in the colony reproduce, while the rest of the members are smaller and sterile, and function as workers. Some individuals are of intermediate size. They help with the rearing of the young and can take the place of a reproductive if one dies. The Damaraland mole rat is characterized by having a single reproductively active male and female in a colony where the remaining animals are not truly sterile, but become fertile only if they establish a colony of their own.

Since we’re on the topic of it, and the reason that most of you reading this have or have had a rodent infestation, some of the sounds in your attic, is probably them plotting against you.

Communication-Olfactory

Nepotistic species such as house mice rely on urine, feces and glandular secretions to recognize their kin.

Rodents use scent marking in many social contexts including inter- and intra-species communication, the marking of trails and the establishment of territories. Their urine provides genetic information about individuals including the species, the sex and individual identity, and metabolic information on dominance, reproductive status and health. Compounds derived from the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are bound to several urinary proteins. The odor of a predator depresses scent-marking behavior.

Rodents are able to recognize close relatives by smell and this allows them to show nepotism (preferential behavior toward their kin) and also avoid inbreeding. This kin recognition is by olfactory cues from urine, feces and glandular secretions. The main assessment may involve the MHC, where the degree of relatedness of two individuals is correlated to the MHC genes they have in common. In non-kin communication, where more permanent odor markers are required, as at territorial borders, then non-volatile major urinary proteins (MUPs), which function as pheromone transporters, may also be used. MUPs may also signal individual identity, with each male house mouse (Mus musculus) excreting urine containing about a dozen genetically encoded MUPs.

House mice deposit urine, which contains pheromones, for territorial marking, individual and group recognition, and social organization. This can occur in a range of ways:

  • The Bruce effect: Pheromones from strange adult males cause females to terminate their pregnancies
  • The Whitten effect: Pheromones from familiar males cause synchronous estrus in a female population
  • The Vandenbergh effect: Pheromones from mature male house mice cause an early induction of the first estrous cycle in prepubertal female mice
  • The Lee–Boot effect: Pheromones from mature females cause the suppression or prolongation of oestrous cycles of other female house mice (and other rodents) when they are housed in groups and isolated from males
  • Pheromones from males or from pregnant or lactating females can speed up or retard sexual maturation in juvenile females
  • Territorial beavers and red squirrels investigate and become familiar with the scents of their neighbors and respond less aggressively to intrusions by them than to those made by non-territorial “floaters” or strangers. This is known as the “dear enemy effect”.

 

While there is nothing overly special to cause the rodents to choose your yard or house other than nature, remember there is no predation in your attic to control the population, and when left unchecked or treated, sooner or later larger wildlife problems will occur. Call now to set up an appointment, we can handle your issue, or we dont know rat removal.

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