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Duration:04:51
Uploaded:2016-10-06
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Join Squeaks for one of his favorite episodes all about RATS! You’ll get to play a few rounds of true or false to learn some interesting facts about these furry creatures!
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SOURCES:
http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/infested/lists/10-rat-myths/
https://hbr.org/2015/01/rats-can-be-smarter-than-people
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/14/yes-rats-can-swim-up-your-toilet-and-it-gets-worse-than-that/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110628163325.htm
http://www.indiana.edu/~rcapub/v17n1/20sb.html
http://www.ratbehavior.org/Teeth.htm
http://science.jrank.org/pages/5745/Rats-Physical-characteristics.html
http://www.ratbehavior.org/Glossary.htm
http://www.cbv.ns.ca/coalnovascotia/rats_senses.html
http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2011/july/katzrats.html

Images:
Rat Swimming: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MorrisWaterMaze.jpg
Rat in Cage: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rattus_norvegicus-face-Pet_rat_in_cage.jpg
Rat Teeth: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rat,_yawning.jpg
Copper: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:NatCopper.jpg
Iron: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Iron-135048.jpg
Factory: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ChickletsFactoryNOLAMainHallEmpty2010.JPG
(Intro)

Today is a day that Squeaks has been looking forward to for a long time. That's because today we're going to learn all about rats. When you think of rats, you might think about animals that live in creepy places, like empty buildings or dark alleys or even sewers. But, rats make their homes in lots of places from deep underground to high up in trees. In fact, a lot of what people think they know about rats isn't true at all. So, Squeaks and I thought it would be fun to play a little game. I'll say something about rats, and then you guess whether that sentence is true or false. Then Squeaks can tell us the right answer. Ready? Let's play!

True or false: rats are dirty animals? What do you think? False. Rats are actually very clean. Rats lick their fur to keep it clean. They also lick their paws, and then use them to cleans their faces and whiskers. When animals clean themselves like this, it's called grooming, and rats groom a lot. They sometimes clean themselves even more than cats do. People often think rats are dirty, because some rats can carry diseases that make us sick. So, while a rat isn't dirty, if you see a rat running around where you live or think there might be one, you should leave it alone and tell a grownup.

OK, let's try another one. True or false: rats like to swim? Hmm, that's a tough one. This one is definitely true. Rats are really good swimmers. Scientists have learned that rats can tread water, or swim in one place, for up to three whole days without a break. That's awesome. They're good at swimming long distances, too. Rats can swim almost a kilometer without stopping, and they can hold their breath for about three minutes. That's way more than you could.

OK, let's try another one. True or false: rats have excellent eyesight? Do you know? This one is false. Rats can't see very well at all, but they make up for it using their other senses to stay away from predators, to find food, and to find their way around. Take, for example, a rat's sense of smell. A rat's nose is so sensitive that it can learn about another rat just by smelling it, like whether it's sick or not. Rats have even been known to smell each others breath to see what they've been eating. That way, if a rat smells that smell again, it knows whatever is making that smell is good to eat. A rat's hearing is also excellent. Try this: hold your hand in front of your face and gently rub your pointer and thumb together. Can you hear anything? A rat can. Noises that we can't hear or can't hear very well can sound perfectly clear to a rat.

OK, here's another good one. True or false: rats can chew through cement? Woah, now that sounds extraordinary. Do you think it's true or false? Believe it or not, this one is true! A rat's mouth has everything it needs to chew through some really hard stuff. Rats belong to a group of animals called rodents. Rodents use their incisors, or their front teeth, to bite, and, like all rodents, a rat's incisors never stop growing. Rats need to chew on things to keep them from getting too long. So, rats chew, and chew, and chew a lot. The fronts of a rat's incisors are harder than your teeth. They are even harder than some metals, like copper and iron, but these extra hard teeth are only one thing that makes a rat a champion chewer. Put your fingers on either side of your face, just in front of your ears and below your cheek bones. Now, open and close your mouth. Can you feel those muscles move? These muscles move your jaw, the bottom part of your mouth. Rats have special jaw muscles that help them bite, and they can bit hard. Rats can bite down harder than a Great White Shark. So, between their strong jaw muscles and hard teeth, rats can chew through wood, metal, plastic, and, yes, even cement.

Alright, let's try one more. True or false: rats are not very smart? Of course, Squeaks! This one is definitely false. Rats are pretty clever. They can learn very quickly, sometimes even faster than people can. They're also great at remembering things, and they can solve problems, like how to great where they want to go. Rats aren't only smart. They're also kind to each other. Rats have been know to share food with other rats, and have even been known to figure out how to open another rat's cage to set them free.

So, I'm glad my best friend is a rat. Thanks for joining us on SciShow Kids. Is there an animal that you'd like to learn more about? If you have a question about animals or anything at all, just grab a grownup and let us know in the comments below or send us an email at kids@thescishow.com, and we'll see you next time!