Rats will do anything just to survive. When there is a scarcity in food, study shows that the rats will kill each other and resort to cannibalism. They will also eat and kill New York mice which is an act known as muricide. This is a predatory behavior that we often see on animals. Last 1965, a study conducted on this behavior of rats showed that at least 12% of the domestic rats and 71% of the wild rats will kill mice.
Why Do Rats Kill Mice?
The rats are known for their incredible adaptability skills. Although it may seem weird that rats will kill mice since they have an uncanny resemblance with each other, these rodents will in fact kill each other. This behavior of rats has an impact on their genetics as well as on the development.
Possible Source of Food
This is the primary reason why the rats will kill mice. Hunting for food for a small animal especially in the wild will be tough and challenging. To ensure that they will not die from starvation, the animal will choose to eat mice. According to the study, this is usually the reason why the animal will eat the mice. However, in the urban areas where there is an abundance of food supply, there are other easy prey for the rats and will prefer not to hunt the mice. Killing mice will require a great deal of energy and they will not escape unscathed from their retaliation.
Battle for Space
If the space is too crowded, the two animals may end up in a fight and may kill each other. This is usually the case for the urban rats. They want to ensure that there will be enough space for the entire family. They will also end up fighting for food since they usually share the same natural diet. If you are hearing a hissing and squealing sound, it might be a sign of the New York City rodents engaging in a battle.
How do They Kill Mice?
Based on the research, the rats could kill the mice in a single bite. The rats have shown their amazing accuracy and precision and will target the neck or head area of the mice when they bite. There are also instances that they will bite the upper back of the mice which can also be fatal. Since the mice also have sharp teeth, they want to make sure that they will deal a decisive attack to prevent any injuries.
How Rats Consume the New York City Mice
Although the rats will not devour the whole carcass, they will still eat some parts of the mice. They love to feast on the organs of the mice such as the liver, brains, intestines. Perhaps they will eat the intestine since this contains some undigested food materials.
The muricide has also helped the development of mice. According to the study, the mice will avoid the presence of the rat whenever they can. Once they pick up the pheromones of the mice, they will avoid the area to remain safe from their attack.
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