Bandicoot vs. Rat
Difference Between Bandicoot And Rat
There is an old British saying, “miserable as a bandicoot. ” This may refer to this marsupial’s unpleasant disposition. Bandicoots are quite quarrelsome among themselves. In fact, they are so unpleasant that, in captivity, they must be kept in separate enclosures. In the wild this creature spends much time marking its territory to warn away intruders. It does so by rubbing its scent glands against rocks and stems. This species is a nocturnal, or nighttime, hunter. At night it sniffs out hidden prey such as buried earthworms, insects, sleeping mice, and birds.
During breeding season, these bandicoots become sociable with the opposite sex. After mating, the male and female build a grass nest in a shallow dirt burrow or in a hollow tree stump. Just 12 days after breeding, the female gives birth to up to four tiny pups. In the first 10 minutes of life, the babies must crawl into their mother’s belly pouch, or “marsupium.” There they attach themselves to her nipples and nurse. Soon after the first litter is weaned, a second brood is born.
Short-nosed bandicoots are growing rare. Their problems began when European farmers came to Australia. Then, as today, the farmers extinguished the natural wildfires that kept fresh grass growing in the bandicoot’s habitat. The animals need the grass as shelter for themselves and their prey.
Rat, any of a large group of medium-sized rodents closely related to the common, smaller, house mouse and found throughout the world. The more than 100 species of rats making up the genus Rattus are, in general, dull-colored, long-tailed animals, 1 pound (0.45 kg) or less in weight. Like other rodents, they have sharp, continually growing, chisel-shaped incisor teeth adapted for gnawing. The name rat is also applied to hundreds of other diverse kinds of medium-sized rodents, but in these cases the term is usually used with a descriptive prefix as in muskrat, packrat, and kangaroo rat.
The greatest concentration of rats occurs in tropical southeastern Asia and in Africa, but some species, particularly the black rat, R. rattus; and the Norway, or brown, rat, R. norvegicus, have spread to nearly all parts of the world—even to Antarctica, with the establishment of research bases there. In many parts of the world, rats are found in enormous numbers.
The success of rats, in terms of their wide distribution and great numbers, has many causes. First of all, rats are highly adaptable—to different habitats, to varying diets, and to humankind’s activities. Some species are terrestrial, some are burrowers, and still others are climbers. Their diet may consist of seeds, grain, vegetables, fruits, invertebrates, meat, garbage, or any combination of these. Rats are also extremely prolific, some annually producing five or more litters of eight to ten young. They also frequently benefit when humans cultivate an area where rats occur and drive out not only their natural predators but also other less adaptable species that compete with them.