False water rat Facts

False water rat Facts
False water rat is type of mouse that belongs to the family of Old World rats and mice. It can be found in Australia and Papua New Guinea. False water rat inhabits coasts, lagoons, swamps and mangrove forests. Number of false water rats decreased significantly in the past couple of decades due to habitat loss (draining of wetlands and destruction of mangroves due to accelerated development of agriculture and urbanization). False water rat is listed as vulnerable, which means that it can become endangered in the near future.
Interesting False water rat Facts:
False water rat can reach 5 inches in length (plus 3 inches-long tail) and 1.5 ounces of weight.
False water rat has dark grey back and white belly. Its body is covered with thick, water repellent fur.
False water rat has flattened head with small eyes, rounded ears and long whiskers. It has short claws, pink feet and grey, scaly tail. Feet and tail are covered with sparse hairs.
False water rat has prominent incisors, which are orange-yellow colored in the upper jaw and white-colored in the lower jaw.
False water rat looks like true water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster, species of Australian rodent) without webbed feet, hence the name "false" water rat.
False water rat is nocturnal animal (active during the night).
False water rat is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on worms, crustaceans (crabs, shellfish and small lobsters) and snails.
False water rat inhabits intertidal mangroves because they provide plenty of food. Since it cannot swim, false water rat waits low tide to collect food accumulated on the shore.
False water rats occupy territory of 0.6 (females) to 0.8 (males) hectares. These animals occasionally roam 1.8 miles per night to find food.
False water rat builds mound-shaped nest made of mud and sand. Nest can reach 24 to 39 inches in height and it consists of numerous tunnels and several large chambers. Nest usually has one entrance. Exposed roots of nearby plants are used to provide stability of entire structure. False water rat uses crab shells and leaves for plastering of its nest.
False water rat builds nest on a safe distance from the water (to avoid destructive effects of high tide). Patches of long grass (between the nest and water) provide shelter from the predators when false water rat is on the foraging trips.
Natural enemies of false water rats are dingoes, foxes, pigs, cats, tawny frog mouth and pythons.
False water rats live in mixed groups of up to 8 animals. Groups are composed of one dominant male, few sexually active females and their offspring.
Little is known about reproductive behavior of false water rats. Researchers believe that false water rats mate all year round. Pregnancy in females ends with only two babies.
Lifespan of false water rat is unknown.

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