Remarkable rats.

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by togata57, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    A poisonous rat that licks deadly toxins onto its own fur sounds like some kind of made-up nightmare species. But these creatures are real, and scientists now say they are also unexpectedly affectionate—at least with their own kind.

    The African crested rat is the only mammal known to sequester lethal plant toxins.

    The discovery thrilled mammologists. "Basically, it's the only known mammal to date, at least that we know of, that co-opts toxins from a plant to make itself venomous," says Adam Ferguson, a mammal expert at the Field Museum in Chicago


    For Rats That Coat Themselves In Poison, These Rodents Are Surprisingly Cuddly

    Fascinating!
    However much we know, there is always more to learn about this amazing world we live in and the animals and plants with whom we share it.
    And the rats are quite strikingly beautiful, too.
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    Here is another rat who deserves a medal---and got one:

    PDSA's gold medal is inscribed with the words "For animal gallantry or devotion to duty". Of the 30 animal recipients of the award, Magawa is the first rat.

    Magawa the mine-detecting rat wins PDSA Gold Medal
     
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  2. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Update:
    A mine-detecting rat who was awarded the animal equivalent of a George Cross for successfully locating landmines will now retire from his job.
    Seven-year-old Magawa, who was trained by the Belgium-registered charity APOPO, discovered 71 landmines and 28 unexploded munitions in Cambodia - clearing more than 141,000 square metres of land - during his career.

    Happy retirement, Magawa!

    Hero rat Magawa retires eight months after receiving animal equivalent of George Cross | Daily Mail Online

    https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/vide...95230616/1024x576_MP4_6614295549495230616.mp4
     
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  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I enjoyed that article and video.
    I don't imagine Magawa knows how cute he looks with his medal, but our ideas about what animals can think about has already changed so much. Maybe he's proud to wear it. Whoever thought to hire him and figured out so well how to train him and his co-worker rats should get a medal too.
     
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