Do Rats Have Bones? How Can They Fit in Such Tiny Areas in Your Home?

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If you’ve ever tried chasing a rat that escaped through a tiny hole, you were probably left thinking, “How on earth did it fit through this tiny hole?”. You see, rats have a remarkable ability to pass through small holes. How remarkable? A rat can pass through a 20 mm hole. That’s the same diameter as a coin.

This outstanding ability has led to several myths. Some say that rats do not have bones. Others say that rats have collapsible bones that make this feat possible. But what exactly is the truth? How exactly do rats fit through tiny holes in your home?

Let’s start by answering the first part of the question: Do rats have bones?

Definitely! Like all mammals, rats are vertebrates, which means they have an internal skeleton supporting their bodies. They have a total of 223 bones in their bodies. And guess what? That’s 17 more than the bones of an adult human.

Now, to the next part: Do rats have collapsible bones?

No! Rats don’t have collapsible bones. However, they have several short bones connected through several joints and cartilages. This makes them highly flexible.

How then do rats fit in tiny areas?

This question can best be answered by understanding the evolution and anatomy of rats.

Evolutionary speaking, rats are burrowing animals. Evolution has favored more streamlined, elongated bodies for millions of years to help for a more efficient burrowing. Evolution has also favored high flexibility in rats as it helps them get through tinier borrows, thereby expanding lesser amounts of energy.

In summary, the shape of rats, coupled with their ability to stretch immensely, enables them to pass through tiny areas.

At this stage, you might be thinking: How then does a rat know if it can pass through a hole?

You see, rats don’t just rely on luck to pass through holes. They have a biological adaptation (their whiskers) that determines if they can fit through a hole quickly. If you’ve ever observed a rat trying to get through a hole, it will first try to poke its nose to test the size of the hole. By doing so, it can know whether it can pass through or whether to look for another hole.

However, rats sometimes make bad judgments, and the consequence is that they become stuck. For instance, a rat trying to escape an imminent threat may incorrectly assess a hole’s size. Another example is when an overweight rat incorrectly assesses its size and tries to pass through a hole. When this happens, it gets stuck midway, in the abdomen region.

Do not use poison

You might think of poisoning rats to handle your infestation. Do not do that! Poisoning rats is inhumane. What’s more, poisoned rats will die in hidden places in your home, and you will have a hard time finding the carcasses while you deal with the horrid smell.

  • Use snap traps

Snap traps provide a quick and humane way to kill rats. And when used correctly, they are very effective for killing rats.

About the author

Surjo Das

Surjo Das is a Digital Media Publisher and freelance copywriter. He has been working in the publishing industry for over 5 years now, holding various positions at different publishing houses Worldwide. His work experience includes managing marketing campaigns, content development, and website maintenance for various industries including healthcare, IT, finance, and education. He also offers to ghostwrite services to help aspiring authors get their books published while maintaining creative control over the project.

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By Surjo Das

Surjo Das

Surjo Das is a Digital Media Publisher and freelance copywriter. He has been working in the publishing industry for over 5 years now, holding various positions at different publishing houses Worldwide. His work experience includes managing marketing campaigns, content development, and website maintenance for various industries including healthcare, IT, finance, and education. He also offers to ghostwrite services to help aspiring authors get their books published while maintaining creative control over the project.

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