Giant rats have been trained to sniff out 14000 landmines and other unexploded arsenal. The rats, which undergo nine months of training, are light enough to not trigger the explosives. They literally work for peanuts.
Poor neighborhoods in 60’s-era Washington DC suffered massive rat infestations until Julius Hobson began catching the “possum-sized” rats in a cage, strapping it to the roof of his car, driving them to the rich neighborhoods, and threatening to release them.
Only about 12 rats per year enter Alberta, Canada and are quickly killed by provincial rat control specialists before they can breed. Alberta is the largest rat free populated area in the world.
Rats feel empathy to such a degree that they will ignore a lever that releases a tempting chocolate treat in favor of one that saves a drowning friend.
In 19th century England, a man by the name of Jack Black was an expert rat catcher. When he caught rats of unusual colour, he would breed them and sell the well bred rats to nobility. Even Queen Victoria kept a pet rat or two.
Rats will help out a comrade in need. Through testing a two rats, one restrained and one free, researchers found that rats experience emotion beyond emotional contagion. Even going as far to conquer their immobilizing fear and helping another rat in distress.
In the early 1950’s, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force decided to parachute live cats into Borneo after a serious rat outbreak.
Rats are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap. Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there’s a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, according to the new study. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.