Wild Animals

Top 10 Animals that Scare Us the Most

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Rats as big as cats? Urban legend may have fed our fears of this critter.
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Rats and mice have been around longer than most Americans. Many of these rodents even immigrated when early colonists did, and they are so common in New York City that some believe the rats there outnumber the people. The most common species is the Norway rat, which weighs between 12 and 19 ounces (340 and 538 grams) and grows to be 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long. Though some urban folklore describes rats to be the size of cats, it's very rare for one to weigh more than a pound. These rodents can be found in just about every area around the world, with the exception of the polar regions, where the low human population makes it impossible for a rat colony to survive, since they thrive on the waste left behind by people.

do carry pathogens, which spread diseases and contaminate food. Additionally, they can cause an incredible amount of damage, tearing into walls, wiring and anything else they can sink their teeth into. If you suspect a rat colony has taken up living quarters in your home, do not try to remedy the situation yourself, since rats are not the same as common house mice. Contact a professional to help eliminate the problem.

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