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Canada's Species   Mammals

Norway Rat

Rattus norvegicus

Introduced into North America in the 1700's, the Norway rat has since become one of the most adaptable and numerous rodents found on this continent. In Canada it can be found in large numbers throughout the country. The Norway rat is a colonial animal, living in a commune with many other rats. The largest, dominant males will maintain harems and territories, and will drive off any intruders. Should the population exceed the carrying capacity of the habitat, the weaker individuals are either forced out, starved or killed. The Norway rat feeds mainly on a wide variety of seeds, vegetables and grains, although some farmers have reported rats killing and eating their chickens.

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