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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 43,568

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Environmental Scientist

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How the Brown Rat Conquered New York City (and Every Other One, Too)


A New York City rat running along a subway platform. Rattus norvegicus, otherwise known as the brown rat, remains surprisingly mysterious.

Millions of them live in New York, and billions more in cities and on farms across the globe. And wherever they scurry, they wreak havoc.

They devour food supplies and contaminate what they don’t eat with feces and urine. They spread a range of harmful viruses and bacteria. In delicate ecosystems around the world, they threaten other species with extinction.

“They’ll gnaw through walls. They’ll gnaw through wires. They’ll destroy cars,” said Jason Munshi-South, a biologist at Fordham University. “They’ve managed to spread wherever there are humans.”

Despite their ubiquity, Rattus norvegicus, otherwise known as the brown rat, remains surprisingly mysterious. Scientists have only a hazy idea of how it went from wild rodent to unwanted human companion.

more
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/science/brown-rat-new-york-city.html

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