These friendly rats temporarily store food in their cheek pouches hence
the name pouched rat.
Giant African Pouched Rats, also called
Gambian Pouched Rats (Cricetomys gambianus) are HUGE! The body length
can be as much as 10 - 17 inches long from head to base of tail! Their tail
is about the same length again or longer. These rats weigh from 2 to 6+
lb. Is this big enough for you?
They have an absolutely adorable face, actually rather comical and whimsical
in appearance. If you like rodents, they are sure to captivate you in a
Their color is variable in shades of gray or brown (some can be spotted
or mottled, some with a strip across the shoulders) with the undersides
being paler. They have very large ears that are virtually hairless. The
tail is hairless with the 2/3 nearest the body colored dark with the remaining
portion to the tip a white or pale color.
These pouched rats are so named because they have cheek pockets in which
they carry food and other items.
They are avid collectors and thieves of all sorts of baubles such as buttons,
coins, and other small objects.
They are shy in nature and naturally non-aggressive. They make very nice
pets because of their propensity to bond with their owners and become very
affectionate. They are also relatively long-lived for a rat and can live
up to eight years of age.
These rats can attain reproductive maturity by 5 months of age. Gestation
is about one month, give or take a few days with litters up to 5 pups each.
Their diet is widely varied in the wild consisting of vegetable matter and
small insects and invertebrates. In captivity, they are easily mananged
with vegetables, rodent block, dry dog food, seeds and grains. They are
notorious for storing large caches of food, so the volume must be monitored
closely or their storage area will attract insects or wild rodents.
In captivity, unneuteted males will fight, often to the death. Pairs of
the opposite sex are usually compatible.
Their most acute senses are those of hearing and smell. Their eyes are very
small and it is believed that their sense of sight is poor.
R-Zu-2-U Animal "Terms"
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