How Did Rats Invade North America?

The plague epidemic, known centuries ago as the “Black Death”, was recorded as one of the most terrible disasters in history, causing millions of people to lose their lives. After the epidemic, while the number of mice decreased in Central Asia, it increased in America.

The main responsible for this terrible epidemic, black rats (Rattus rattus) and their fleas It was a bacterium called Yersinia pestis that was transmitted to humans.

But in the mid-1700s, The frequency of the epidemic has decreased markedly. But how?

Interestingly, there was an increase in the number of brown rats in Europe during this period.

Brown rat infestation It wasn’t just limited to Europe. It also spread to America in the stacks of ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Brown rat today While it is quite common in eastern North America It is also increasing in the western parts.

These two rodent species, in addition to being harmful, They are also known as carriers of critical illness.

But scientists haven’t figured out exactly how brown rats spread across North America and how they outcompete black rats.

black rat and brown rat

Molecular zooarchaeologist Eric Guiry of the University of Leicester in England and his colleagues studied archaeological sites in eastern and southeastern North America. by performing molecular analyzes on 311 rat bones obtained from tried to solve this mystery.

This study, published in the journal Science Advances, It offered important clues about the way brown rats dominate black rats.

The mouse comes on board

Researchers, Brown rats came to the continent in the 1700s revealed.

Brown rats, black rats consume more animal protein and it was concluded that it probably lived in different ecological niches.

Their different feeding habits may indicate that the two species are not in direct competition for the same resources.

Cat mouse hunting

But black rats still disappear, more aggressive nature of brown rats and suggests that their large size may be effective.

Results; rodent populations of stray animals It makes the role it plays in keeping it under control even more important.

We have discussed the mouse problem before, if you want to read it, you can read it below:


Will this big problem in rat-infested Paris and New York also occur in our country if stray animals are collected?

Our other content that may interest you:


Why Are White Mice Usually Used in Laboratory Experiments?


Why Are There No Stray Animals in the USA and European Countries? They Do Something We Can’t Do…


Animals Without Chips Will Not Be Treated by Veterinarians: What Will Happen to Stray Animals?

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