Pack rats love shiny objects and will steal your jewelry.
Woodrat Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Neotoma cinerea
Woodrat Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black
less than five years
Top speed
8 mph
9.5 to 14 ounces. Males are bigger and heavier than females.
Woodrat Distribition

” The woodrat is the enthusiast of brilliant and glossy things.”

The woodrat, additionally called the packrat or the profession rat, is popular for grabbing and even taking guy- made things and utilizing them to develop its nests and dens. The built up garbage thrown away of these dens in time can inform researchers the background of an area.

5 Amazing Woodrat Realities!

Below are 4 truths regarding the packrat:

  • Some packrat middens are 50,000 years of ages, and researchers research them for the results of environment adjustment and various other sensations.
  • Together with brilliant glossy things, packrats have actually been recognized to take the feces of various other animals back to their nests. Virus in the feces are thought to trigger condition in the rats.
  • The bushy- trailed woodrat is the biggest of the woodrats. It has a bushy tail, can be misinterpreted for a squirrel and is a lot more cool forgiving than various other woodrats.
  • The visibility of various other males prevents a male dusky- footed woodrat’s sex-related growth. When he’s by himself, he accomplishes sex-related maturation.
  • Unlike the city rats Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus, packrats are belonging to The United States and Canada.

Scientific Name

Packrats come from the Neotoma genus. Neotoma originates from the Greek words for “brand-new,” neos, and “cut,” tomos So, Neotoma describes a brand-new creature with teeth that reduced. Initially, packrats were put in the Mus genus, which just indicates mouse. Species are:

  • N. albigula
  • N. angustapalata
  • N. chrysomelas
  • N. cinerea
  • N. devia
  • N. floridana
  • N. fuscipes
  • N. goldmani
  • N. lepida
  • N. leucodon
  • N. macrotis
  • N. magister
  • N. melanura
  • N. mexicana
  • N. micropu
  • N. nelsoni
  • N. palatina
  • N. phenax
  • N. stephensi

A few of these species have subspecies. For instance, the desert woodrat, N. lepida has 23 subspecies.


The packrat appears like the Norway rat that’s typically seen in cities however is rather even more visually pleasing. Its hair varies from cinnamon to grayish- brownish to brownish, and its bottoms are constantly white or light grey. The packrat’s eyes are huge and dark, and one methods of recognition is its tail. The profession rat’s tail is hairy, while the city rat’s tail is scaly. It can be virtually as bushy as a squirrel’s. T

he packrat has a lengthy body and huge, rounded ears. Its dimension depends mainly on its area, for packrats from warmer environments often tend to be smaller sized than those from cool environments. Thus, the bushy- trailed woodrat is the biggest of these rats and is discovered as much north as Canada’s Yukon Area. Packrats vary from 10 to 18.5 inches in size and evaluate in between 9.5 to 14 ounces, though some people are bigger. Male packrats are bigger than females.

The tail of a woodrat is among its most distinguishing characteristics.iStock.com/ rtrible


Woodrats are singular and just collaborated to mate. The only various other sort of team habits entails a mommy and her dogs. A lot of species seem nighttime though it’s not unusual to see some sorts of woodrat, such as the white- throated woodrat, being energetic throughout the day. Recognition of a packrat, in contrast to one more rodent, additionally originates from their practice of structure nests and dens out of all type of products, consisting of plant product, bones, plumes, animal feces, and guy- made things. Undoubtedly, if a packrat is lugging a branch and locates a glossy dime in its course, it will certainly go down the branch, get the dime and take it to contribute to its nest. This is just how they obtain their various other name of investor rat.

Packrats connect with each various other with their scent glands, which are particularly well- created in males. Their scent glands are discovered in the center of their bellies, and they drag themselves over the ground to set their fragrance. Their feces additionally have scents that permit the recognition of males and females. Packrats often tend to be hostile in safeguarding their area. Since packrats do not hibernate, they cache food in various areas around their regions.

Woodrats are additionally popular for middens, which can be huge and 10s of hundreds of years of ages. They are not dens or nests, though nests and dens are constructed within them. Nests are maintained spick-and-span, however middens have years, centuries, and centuries of waste items that researchers utilize instead like time devices to figure out just how the environment has actually transformed and the sorts of plants that utilized to expand in the location.


Packrats are belonging to The United States and Canada, and biologists think they have actually gotten on the continent for 10s of hundreds of years simply from the age of the earliest middens. They develop their nests and dens in deserts below spiny cacti, in caverns, on high cliffs, up in trees, in homes where individuals live, and in deserted structures and mines. They’re discovered in the timbers, chaparral, on hill ridges, and near bodies of water, consisting of lakes rivers, and seas. Some dens gave from mommy to little girl, as can be seen in the large- eared woodrat.


Packrats are herbivores and eat acorns, leaves, ache needles, seeds, and succulents. A couple of species are experts and just eat juniper, yucca, and particular species of cacti.

Predators and Dangers

As a rat, the packrat has a selection of predators, consisting of skunks, weasels, owls, coyotes, black bears, foxes, snakes, and humans.

Several species of packrats, consisting of the Allegheny woodrat, undergo conditions. The Allegheny woodrat’s populace appears to be adversely influenced by the raccoon roundworm. Packrats are additionally hosts to ticks, termites, fleas, roundworms, and botflies.

Recreation and Life Process

The breeding routines of these little animals are mystical to biologists, however a great deal of species battle prior to they mate. These are not play battles. The male and female packrat will certainly depend on their back legs and box like kangaroos and attack and scrape each various other. It is not uncommon for one or both to be wounded, and if the female is larger and more powerful, the male can be eliminated. It appears both friends when they obtain tired of battling. Mating takes place promptly in the majority of species due to the fact that both is vulnerable to predation when they remain in the act. Later, the male fallen leaves and efforts to reproduce with one more female.

The reproducing period for some packrats remains in springtime and summer season, though it is the succumb to the Allegheny woodrat and from February to August for the eastern woodrat. The female is expectant for a little over a month. The dimension of the clutter varies from one to 6 infants, despite the fact that the packrat has just 4 teats. The infants are hairless and blind. At this phase, they’re called “pinkies.” Their eyes open when they have to do with 2 weeks old, and they’re discouraged after spell a month. The males leave when they have to do with 2 and a half months old, however the females typically share regions with their mommy, and as specified children acquire their mommy’s dens in some species. Moms and children might additionally utilize the very same food caches.

The dogs are sexually fully grown when they have to do with 2 months old, however they do not reproduce till they’re a years of age. The life expectancy of a packrat hardly ever lasts as lengthy as 5 years, and the majority of have a life-span of much less than 3. The whole populace is thought to reverse every 8 years. Surprisingly, some species of packrats are not as respected dog breeders as various other sorts of rats and mice. The Allegheny woodrat can have 2 or 3 clutters of 2 dogs each year, which is a reduced birth price.


The general packrat populace is unknown, however there go to the very least thousands of thousands. Some species are of least concern however others remain in decrease and taken into consideration vulnerable. For instance, the Allegheny woodrat is taken into consideration endangered in a few of its array, although its populace is approximated at around 100,000. Subspecies of the eastern woodrat are taken into consideration endangered or intimidated in Secret Largo, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pack_rat
  2. Center for Humans & Nature, Available here: https://www.humansandnature.org/running-with-the-rats
  3. ITIS, Available here: https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=970520#null
  4. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/woodrat
  5. dreamstime, Available here: https://www.dreamstime.com/newborn-rats-sleep-rat-nest-fabric-silk-cloth-house-baby-mouse-little-image139041791
  6. NatureServeExplorer, Available here: https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101808/Neotoma_magister
  7. Earth’s Endangered Creatures, Available here: http://www.earthsendangered.com/profile.asp?gr=&view=c&ID=9&sp=11454
  8. The National Wildlife Federation, Available here: https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Mammals/Dusky-Footed-Woodrat

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