Old World rats and mice can be social creatures. They are known to travel in groups (hence the term "rat packs") and sleep together peacefully, but can be aggressive towards members of other rat colonies and are known to form colonial territories. Scientists have identified up to 20 pheromones that rats use to attract mates, as well as other scents that the animals use to mark territory or objects.

Rats are also vocal creatures and emit various sounds. Encounters between brown rats, for example, may begin with percussive chattering, while bush rats scream and whistle at each other.

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