Significance to humans

Old World rats have a long history with humans. Some are seen as cuddly pets, like the spiny rats (genus Echimys), while others are considered pests that eat stored food and are indirectly responsible for killing millions of people by spreading the black plague, typhus, and other maladies. However, these pestilent creatures have become invaluable to humans: the common lab rats and mice are descendents of the murines. These animals have been, and will continue to be, essential research animals, and many of the major discoveries in medical psychological and research are a direct result of the murines and their healthy ability to reproduce.

Rattus Norvegicus And Mus Musculus

1. Harvest mouse (Micromys minutus); 2. House mouse (Mus musculus); 3. Creek rat (Pelomys fallax); 4. Egyptian spiny mouse (Acomys cahir-inus); 5. Black rat (Rattus rattus); 6. Greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor); 7. Australian jumping mouse (Notomys alexis); 8. Brown rat (Rat-tus norvegicus); 9. Tree rat (Thallomys paedulcus). (Illustration by Bruce Worden)

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