Rodentia: Muridae, Rattus norvegicus
The Norway rat (aka the brown rat) is a stocky burrowing rodent. Also called the brown rat, house rat, barn rat, sewer rat, gray rat, or wharf rat, it is a slightly larger animal than the roof rat. When distinguishing the Norway rat from the Roof rat, pull the tail back over the body. The tail of the Roof rat will reach the nose. The tail of the Norway rat will not reach beyond the ears. Adult Norway rats weigh an average of about 1 pound. Their fur is coarse and usually is brownish or reddish-gray above, and whitish-gray on the belly. Blackish individuals occur in some locations. Norway rats live in close association with people. They burrow to make nests under buildings and other structures, beneath concrete slabs, along stream banks, around ponds, in garbage dumps, and at other locations where suitable food, water, and shelter are present. Norway rats will eat nearly any type of food. Food items in household garbage offer a fairly balanced diet and also satisfy their moisture needs.