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We analyzed age distribution of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) on uninhabited islands, Yururi (168 ha) and Moyururi (31 ha) in the subarctic climate zone in Hokkaido, Japan. Age was estimated from eye lens weight. From the age distribution of 73 rats caught in July–August 2013, we found that 10 rats of them were born under the snow cover from December to March.

  • Yabe, T. et al. (2017): Breeding under snow cover in Norway rats. Russian Journal of Theriology 16(1): 43-46. (Rattus norvegicus) on uninhabited islands in Hokkaido, Japan. (PDF (http://zmmu.msu.ru/rjt/articles/ther16_1_043_046.pdf))


Body fat deposition for wintering was examined in two populations of the Norway rat, Rattus norvegicus. Rats on an artificial islet in Tokyo Bay depleted body fat during winter, but maintained body fat throughout the year at an average fat index level (FI) of 0.10±0.04. Non-wintering rats maintained their FIs at higher levels than wintering rats by an average of 0.16±0.06 until December (t-test, p<0.01). Wintering and non-wintering rats on a forested island maintained average FIs of 0.11±0.06 and 0.12±10.06, respectively, with no significant differences between them (p>0.50). There is circumstantial evidence that the Norway rat uses body fat for wintering.

  • Yabe, T. (1994): Fat Deposits for Wintering in the Norway Rat, Rattus norvegicus. J. Mamm. Soc. Japan 19(2): 129-133. ([1] (https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jmammsocjapan/19/2/19_2_129/_pdf))

--davX Literatur 05:46, 21. Sep 2018 (CEST)

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