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Rat and mouse are actually not scientific classifications. These words are common names for rodents that look alike to the casual eye.Besides the differences in their physical characteristics, rats and mice are significantly different in many other ways. 
Mice prefer cereal grains and plants, but will feed on almost anything. Rats will eat nearly anything, but they prefer fresh grain and meat. Rats require at least 1/2 to 1 ounce of fluid each day. If this is not attained through moisture in foods that it eats, the rat must have water to drink
Although they rarely burrow, they will nest in hidden areas near a food source. Rats will burrow under buildings, along fences and railroad tracks, and under vegetation and debris.
In a single year, one female mouse can breed up to 10 litters of 5 to 6 young A female rat can have six litters of up to 12 young per year. Spring is the most active season for rat breeding.
These 60 offspring can begin to reproduce themselves in as little as six weeks. These more than 70 rats can begin breeding themselves within three months of birth
Mice have an average lifespan of 9 to 12 months Rats can live up to a year and a half.
Movement Movement
A mouse can slip through 1/4-inch holes and gaps - much smaller than appears possible
When eating, fighting, or orienting itself, the mouse will stand up on its hind legs, supported by its tail.
· They are fast runners, moving on all fours and holding the tail straight upright for balance -- unless frightened.
· A nocturnal creature, the mouse is most active from dusk up 'til morning light. Mice are generally averse to bright lights, but one may sometimes be seen during the day, particularly if its nest has been disturbed or it is seeking food.
· As excellent jumpers, swimmers, and climbers, mice can ascend even rough, vertical surfaces..
· It can jump 13 inches high from a floor or other surface, and can run along wires, cables, and ropes.
· Rats can enter a building through a gap as small as 1/2 inch in diameter.
· Strong swimmers, rats will live in sewers and can enter buildings through broken drains or toilets.
· It will climb in order to access food, water, or shelter.
· Rats will set and follow standard routines and pathways. If new objects are set in a path, they will painstakingly avoid it.
· Rats tend to stay within 300 feet of their nest or burrow.
Genetic differences:
House mice have 20 chromosome pairs
Norway rats have 22 chromosome pairs
Growth differences:
mouse gestation (19-20 days). Norway rats lactate for about 3 weeks, house mice for 2 weeks. Both species are born naked and blind, House mice open their eyes at 3 days, have fur at 10 days
In general, Norway rats develop more slowly than house mice. For example, Norway rat gestation is slightly longer (21-24 days)
Norway rats open their eyes at 6 days, they are fully furred at 15 days.
Anatomical differences:
House mice have 5 pairs of nipples .
Norway rats have 6 pairs of nipples
Sign differences: ).
Mouse feces are smaller than rat
Due to their larger body size, rat feces are larger than mouse feces
Adult rats and mice
Adult mice are much smaller than adult rats (Fig. 1). Adult mice weigh about 30 grams, and fancy mice tip the scales at about 50 grams. Adult mice have bodies that are 3-4 inches long with 3-4 inch tails.
Adult rats are far heavier and longer: they can weigh ten times as much, averaging 350-450 grams for females and 450-650 for males (with an overall range of 200-800 grams). They have 9-11 inch long bodies and 7-9 inch tails .
Figure 1. Drawing showing the relative size of rats and mice
Young rats vs. adult mice
Feature Baby Rat Adult Mouse
Head short, stubby, broad, large relative to body small, triangular, small relative to body
Muzzle large and blunt with wide muzzle narrow with sharp muzzle
Ears ears are small relative to the head ears are large relative to the head
Tail thick thin
Tail/body ratio Tail shorter than body Tail same length/longer than body
Feet Large relative to body, especially the hind feet Small relative to body
Weight around 100 grams at 6 weeks, 200 grams at 8 weeks 30-50 grams
  6 week old rat Adult mouse

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