Name: Brown Rat
Scientific name: Rattus norvegicus
Nature Stars: 20
About: 25cm long, with a long tail (up to 23cm), the Brown Rat is an incredibly adaptable mammal and can be found almost everywhere in the UK, in any habitat: all it needs is shelter and food. Brown Rats are omnivorous, eating pretty much anything, from fruit and seeds to human food waste, insects, birds eggs or even small mammals. They are particularly common around towns and cities.
How to identify: Much bigger than any mice. Told from the smaller Water Vole by the more grey-brown fur, pointed nose, relatively large, bare ears and the long scaly tail.
Where: Found throughout the country
Fantastic fact: A female Brown Rat is capable of having up to 10 litters of babies in a year, each of up to 9 young. That's a lot of rats!
Photograph credit: Margaret Holland