Rattus_norvegicus AnAge entry for Rattus norvegicus

Classification (HAGRID: 03502)

Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Mammalia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Rodentia
                Family: Muridae
                    Genus: Rattus
Species
Rattus norvegicus
Common name
Norway rat

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

IMR
0.002/year
MRDT
0.3 years
Maximum longevity
3.8 years (captivity)
Source
ref. 857
Sample size
Large
Data quality
Acceptable
Observations

This common laboratory animal and pet is one of the fastest ageing mammals. In the wild, rats experience a high mortality and rarely live more than 1 year, though in exceptional cases they can live up to 3 years [0851]. Even in captivity, most animals do not normally live more than 3 years. There is some controversy, however, regarding the maximum longevity of this species in captivity. There are reports that rats can live up to 5-6 years [0002], though these have not been verified. A maximum longevity of 4.2 years has also been cited [0001], but this is likely a results of confusion with another rat species (/Rattus rattus/) [0434]. Arguably the most accurate data comes from one large study with thousands of animals in which maximum longevity was 3.8 years, though one female under caloric restriction lived 4.6 years [0857]. Caloric restriction not only extends lifespan but appears to delay ageing in this species [0707], including demographic ageing [0858].

Like in laboratory mice (/Mus musculus/), the major cause of death in rats is cancer, though there is variation between strains. Various degenerative conditions have been observed in aged rats, including several kidney diseases [0981].

Life history traits (averages)

Female sexual maturity
90 days
Male sexual maturity
70 days
Gestation
21 days
Weaning
25 days
Litter size
9.9 (viviparous)
Litters per year
3.7
Inter-litter interval
Weight at birth
5.81 g
Weight at weaning
63.8 g
Adult weight
300 g
Postnatal growth rate
Maximum longevity residual
32%

Metabolism

Typical body temperature
310ºK or 37.1ºC or 98.8ºF
Basal metabolic rate
1.4040 W
Body mass
206.9 g
Metabolic rate per body mass
0.006786 W/g

References

External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 180363
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account
Encyclopaedia of Life
Search EOL
NCBI Taxonomy
Taxonomy ID 10116
Entrez
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Ageing Literature
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Images
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Internet
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