Oh this? Nothing. Just the 3D-printed skeleton of a living, breathing…

This is what you get when you take data from a CT scan and convert it into a format that can be read by a 3D-printer. It's a skeleton. But not just any skeleton. The 3D model you see here was printed while the rat whose bones it's based on was still alive. Intact. Still wrapped in muscle, skin and fur. » 4/03/13 12:59pm 4/03/13 12:59pm

"Potentially unsafe" rat meat is being sold illegally in London…

File this away under things you didn't want to know first thing Monday morning: a reportedly "shocking" quantity of bushmeat — including rat, goat and sheep meat — is being sold to the public illegally in east London marketplaces. » 9/17/12 8:15am 9/17/12 8:15am

When rats are as smart as humans

In a battle of wits, humans and rats are way more evenly matched than you'd think. While we obviously have an advantage in overall intelligence, our ability to read situations and make decisions is actually no better than a rat's. » 3/13/12 4:30pm 3/13/12 4:30pm

Four separate species of rats evolved to mooch off humans

Rat are notorious pests, with populations throughout the world living off the scraps and garbage left behind by humans. Rats, it seems, are just born to mooch off humans, since they've gone down this same evolutionary path four different times. » 11/21/11 11:46am 11/21/11 11:46am

Invasive rats could be the savior of pollinating plants

About 90% of flowering plants require animals to pollinate them, and that includes about two-thirds of the world's crops. The extinction of pollinating organisms could spell disaster... but the very species that are killing them off could prove excellent substitutes. » 11/16/11 10:40am 11/16/11 10:40am

Why zoning out reveals the evolutionary origins of consciousness

Letting your mind wander allows you to be introspective, and to think in abstract ways most other animals cannot. And yet rats possess the same brain structures we use for introspection — which suggests deeper evolutionary roots for introspection and, by extension, consciousness itself. » 10/13/11 2:16pm 10/13/11 2:16pm

10 of the World's Worst Invasive Species

Not all invasions come from marauding armies. You can devastate a place just by introducing a non-native species that creates dramatic and unexpected shifts in the dynamics of the ecosystem. » 8/22/11 10:38am 8/22/11 10:38am

Parasites trick their rat hosts into being eaten by cats

The single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii lives infects rats, but it needs to be inside a cat's digestive system in order to reproduce. The parasite actually alters the brain of its rat host so that it won't be afraid of cats. » 8/18/11 5:35pm 8/18/11 5:35pm

Our brains aren't built to understand altitude

Animal brains, ours included, have evolved to be powerfully aware of where we are at any given moment. But it turns out that our brains are surprisingly, frustratingly two-dimensional, and that we're only dimly aware of changes in altitude. » 8/08/11 9:20am 8/08/11 9:20am