Can Rats Swim?

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You may find it intriguing or maybe the stuff of nightmares, but can rats swim? In a word, yes. How fond of swimming they are depends on the species. Let’s start with discussing wild animals in general. There are a wide variety of species that are natural swimmers. By observing one another and avoiding predators, they can learn from one another. But animals can be vulnerable when swimming since they frequently are unaware of what may be waiting beneath them.

Rats That Can Swim
Can Rats Swim Underwater?
How Far Can Rats Swim?
The Final Word

Animals must learn to swim on their own, unlike humans who have swimming instructors to teach them in a safe manner. For many land-based and marine species, swimming is a favorite pastime. Because of their fur or hair, some species might become overheated in the sun. They can cool off and prevent skin rashes by swimming. Let’s now concentrate on rats and their swimming prowess.

Rats That Can Swim

Rats are land animals that inhabit the earth and breathe air. Depending on the species and the particular rat, some rats are better swimmers than others. In a 1950s study at Harvard, rats were submerged in a pool of water to test their ability to stay afloat. They floundered and sank after roughly fifteen minutes, on average. However, it has been found that, depending on the circumstances, rats can actually tread water for up to three days nonstop. There are more than 60 different species of rats worldwide, but for now, let’s focus on just four.

  • Black rats are typically found in homes, on roofs, and aboard ships. They favor remaining on land.
  • Brown rats, often known as Norway rats, can carry diseases and are superb swimmers. They could be inside your home, in the walls, or even in your bathroom!
  • Marsh rice rats, which are typically found in wetlands, feed on aquatic creatures including small crabs and fish. As a result of living in the wild, they are adept swimmers.
  • One of Australia’s largest rodents is the Rakali, also known as the water rat. It is huge in size, has webbed hind feet, a long tail with a white tip, and a waterproof coat. This rat lives close to permanent sources of water and feeds while swimming. Insects, mussels, fish, frogs, lizards, small animals, and aquatic birds are just a few of the many prey sources it consumes.

It is evident from the examples listed above, that certain rats are naturally comfortable with swimming because of their environments. As they travel via drain pipes and sewers to get to various places, including your toilets, even city rats can even learn to swim! Rats are amazing animals that not only can swim in water but can also squeeze and fit their bodies through tiny cracks. Just have a look at the rat in this video swimming up and into a toilet bowl.

Can Rats Swim Underwater?

Let’s talk about swimming underwater now. In various regions of Australia, rats that may survive close to bodies of water include the water rat. These amazing animals can hold their breath for up to three minutes while swimming underwater in search of prey. Of course, not all rats enjoy submerging their bodies in water. Many rats need time and perseverance to develop the ability to submerge their heads. And many pet rats will avoid swimming behavior at all costs.

How Far Can Rats Swim?

Rats can swim great distances if necessary. In urban areas, they often make use of underground tunnels and sewers to move around. Rats have to swim both short and large distances to get around. Especially since these tunnels frequently contain water and may even be submerged in places. Some rats have even been observed traveling more than 1,300 feet between islands and swimming across oceans. They can conquer remote islands all over the world because of this talent.

wet-rat-sitting-out-of-the-water

The Final Word

To sum up, rats can swim, but not all of them enjoy it. While some rats may love swimming, others might be unwilling to dip their small paws into deep water. It’s crucial to go slowly and not push rats if you’re thinking of training them up as talented swimmers. However, if you wait and watch carefully, you might catch a confident rat doing tricks above and below the water.

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AUTHOR

Anne Rosa has always had a strong passion for animals. She has raised many small pets from a young age. Her most recent companion is Jingles the rabbit. Anne Rosa believes animals of all sizes and species can be trained with a bit of patience, willingness, consistency and a positive attitude. She has taught Jingles many tricks and those who know her aren’t wholly convinced she’s really a bunny and not a puppy!