A video showing a huge rat grabbing her human’s finger and dragging her to show off her baby is going viral, reminding us of how little we actually know about rats – one of the most intelligent animals in the world.
Rats are highly social and communicate with each other using high-frequency sounds that we can’t hear without instrumentation. They like to play together, cuddle, and wrestle. Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist at Bowling Green State University, suggests that when playing or being tickled, rats make chirping sounds that are strikingly similar to human laughter. “[Y]oung rats have a marvelous sense of fun,” says the professor.
When rats bond with their human companions, it’s for life. So, if they’re suddenly given away to someone else or neglected, they can even die of sadness. Just like humans, if they don’t have companionship, rats get lonely, anxious, stressed, and depressed.
Oh, and the big rat we see in the video is most likely a Giant Pouched rat. These types of rats are used in Africa to sniff out landmines. Talk about intelligent creatures!