african rat


Tanzania-based NGO Apopo trains giant African pouched rats to sniff out land mines and detect tuberculosis. The initial stages of training for the TB- and mine-detection rats are fairly similar. When the rats are still pups, they are socialized to work with people. 

The rats are then conditioned with clicker training, so that they associate the sound of a click with a reward (usually peanuts or bananas). They are then introduced to a target scent (TNT or positive TB samples).TB rats stay in the lab, where they are ultimately given multiple samples at one time to evaluate. 

The training takes about six months. Mine-detection rats are moved first to a sandbox, where they are charged with sniffing out TNT-stuffed tea balls, before they ultimately train on a test field bearing both real and deactivated mines. Those rats can be fully trained in nine months to a year. (Source)

Animals, especially mammals, need oxygen to keep their bodies and brains humming along.

But leave it to the African naked mole-rat to buck that trend. The rodents are bizarre in just about every way. They’re hairless, ground-dwelling and cold-blooded despite being mammals. Now, scientists report in the journal Science that the animals are capable of surviving oxygen deprivation.

“They have evolved under such a different environment that it’s like studying an animal from another planet,” says Thomas Park, a neuroscientist at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Researchers Find Yet Another Reason Why Naked Mole-Rats Are Just Weird

Photo: Roland Gockel/Max Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine


Finally selling some adoptables!! They don’t have set genders or names, that’s all up to the buyer!
Please DM me or email me at if you’re interested in buying one.

~Prices down below~
Lion: $10
Pointer Puppy: $10
(Large) Rat: $10
Raccoon: $10
African Wild Dog: $10
Skunk: Owned
Hyena: Owned
Bull/Cow: $10

Does anyone located in the UK want any achatina achatina (tiger snails)?

There’s a girl on a snail forum I’m a member of who is looking for homes for about 20 baby snails from an accidental clutch, she’s willing to post them or you can collect them. Please send me a message if you’re interested so I can put you in touch with her, she needs to find new homes for them ASAP. Snails are really easy to look after, but you must do your research first.

Giant african land snails are a huge commitment, they can live for up to 10 years and once they reach sexual maturity you must check their tank every other day for eggs to remove and cull, otherwise you will end up with hundreds of babies and it is very hard to rehome them and you cannot release them into the wild. Achatina achatina in particular like to be kept around 26-28 degrees celsius so you’ll need a heat mat for them. If you have any questions about snail care you’re welcome to ask.


Hey guys, check out my new rat! This is Nisay, and she’s a giant Africa pouched rat that I’ve “adopted” through APOPO! Apopo trains these “HeroRats” to sniff out the land mines that litter various African countries. The rats are small enough they can sniff out the mines without getting hurt, so people safely detonate the mines and the rats get a treat! They also can sniff out TB, and can test as many human sputum samples by sniffing as it would take a human lab tech to do in 3 days!

They have a program where you can “adopt” a rat, meaning sponsor their food and training, and they send you photos and updates. My dad adopted me on for Christmas, as it was the only thing I asked for. There was some mixup so this is my first update, but I’m so pleased! Nisay is a female, with distinguishing dark marks on her face. She’s three feet and three pounds and described as “cheeky and enthusiastic”. She’s one of the HeroRats who has been shipped overseas to do work elsewhere; in her case, she’s doing work in Cambodia in a place called Siem Reap. I think her paper said she was born in 2013; they live longer than regular ratties.

I love giant pouched rats and hope to own one one day, but they’re next to impossible to get in the USA. For now though, I can enjoy a surrogate ownership through Nisay while she does good!

@captaindicks @hexiva LOOK AT MY GIANT BABY HERO

rosiethero  asked:

hiya! i'm hoping to adopt my first snake later this year, can you recommend any good books or websites for a first-time snake owner to do some research? :3

Hello there!

I’d be more than happy to recommend some resources, but I don’t want to overwhelm you with TOO much information so first let’s narrow it to a species.

What kind of snake do you want? A snuggler to hang out while you watch TV? A show-off snake who’s always active? A little buddy or a big honkin’ pile of SNEK? There are tons of great choices for a first snake companion and choosing the one that’s going to be right for you is a big first step. Common first snakes are going to be corn snakes, king snakes, rosy boas, sand boas, and ball pythons. Less common but still very good first snakes will be more like red tailed boas, hognose snakes, children’s pythons, African house snakes, eastern rat snakes, and garter snakes.

Note that I’ve included some “intermediate” species in this list like ball pythons, red tailed boas, and hognose snakes. I include these because I really do think that these could make a fine first snake pet if you are adequately prepared, you have a support network in place before you bring the snake home, and you’ve done ALL of your research. It always breaks my heart to meet someone who chose a species that they didn’t really care for because it was a “recommended beginner species” when they really felt passionate about something else.

Do some quick google searches to get a rough idea about the adult size, housing/feeding requirements, and temperament of your “dream” snake and then you can start proper research on that species!

You can always change your mind if you start reading and determine that a snake you thought was great at first isn’t going to be right for you after all.

fragilefox  asked:

hi, i'm a potential first time mouse parent! i have owned rats in the past. how different are rats and mice, behaviorally? what are some things i should look for when choosing my mice?

Hi, I’m so glad you’re thinking about getting a mouse! I’ve have both mice and rats and personally I really prefer mice. There’s just something about them that I absolutely love that even rats can’t compare.

While both belong to the rodent family, rats and mice have some behavioral differences. Rats are often described by owners as being somewhat “dog-like” and are more hands-on and interactive animals, while mice are more likely to be cautious of people and independent, sometimes only tolerating being petted at best. I think this link explains the main differences between rats and mice very well.

Because some mice don’t care much for being handled, if you can’t be happy with an animal that you can only look at without touching, you shouldn’t get a mouse. It’s much better to expect a mouse that will only tolerate you at best and be pleasantly surprised, than to expect a mouse that will enjoy cuddles and interaction and end up being disappointed. However, mice definitely can end up enjoying being held, especially if you get your mice from a reputable breeder, and a fair number of mine will crawl right onto my hand without a fuss. There’s nothing I love more than watching a timid mouse slowly come out of its shell and learn to enjoy handling; earning the trust of such a tiny animal is so incredibly rewarding. You may not ever be able to play or cuddle with a mouse the way you can a rat, however. They are very fast and curious little creatures who want to zoom around and explore all over, and they don’t sit and chill the way that rats (particularly the boys) do. They are also more inclined to play on you than with you. However, they can be taught tricks just like rats! Don’t expect to be able to fully litter train your mice though– they’re so small that they don’t have full control over their pooping and peeing and will have accidents outside their cage more often than rats. If you allow your mice to free roam it’s a good idea to put some newspaper or towels down to help with cleanup.

My rats tend to beg to be let out of their cage when I walk in to see them and they don’t let up until I leave the room. My mice, on the other hand, do come up to the glass of their tanks when I first sit next to their cage, but if I don’t say hello or try to interact, they will soon get back to business as usual, and I can sit and watch them. Mice are really fun to watch, especially when they are given lots of things to do. They climb, dig, groom, run on their wheel, make nests, scavenge for treats… it’s really cute and relaxing. It’s also amusing to stick your hand inside their cage. The friendly ones will crowd around and put their lil front paws on me or sniff or crawl on me; and if you hold your hand up high enough sometimes they will streeeeetch their bodies out to try and reach, or hop onto your palm. 

My personality meshes well with mice more so than rats and so for me I definitely have had a more fun time taking care of my mice than my rats. Not that my rats aren’t fun, but it’s different. Before getting into rodents, I was a cat person, so it makes sense that I might like the independent mice more than rats, haha :)

One important behavioral difference between mice and rats is that while female mice can (and need to be) housed in groups, boys are just fine on their own. In fact, unless you get mice from a breeding line that has had the male aggression bred fully out (which is quite uncommon), male mice should not be housed together. When male mice reach sexual maturity, they will start to fight with other boys. Even siblings who grew up together may become incredibly vicious with one another. If you are genuinely concerned that your male mouse needs a buddy, neuter him and keep him with girls, or have one boy fancy mouse and give him 1-2 female african soft fur rat companions (they’re not actually rats). African soft furs, also called natal multimammate mice, can’t breed with fancy mice, and the two species get along very well if properly introduced.

Ok, now onto choosing your pet mice!

Look for active mice that have clean coats and bright eyes. They should not have runny eyes or noses, and the underside of their tails should look clean and dry. Avoid mice that are scratching excessively (may have parasites) or walk/spin in a circle or have a head tilt (can be caused by an ear infection or neurological disorder). Check the poop in their cage– it should look like dark brown pellets. If it’s yellowish or green, or is runny, they may be sick. If a mouse has runny poops while you’re holding it but the poop in the cage looks okay, it’s probably just scared. If you can hold a mouse without it jumping out of your hand, hold it up to your ear and listen for noisy breathing. Any kind of clicking, whistling or snuffling sound means they have an upper respiratory infection. It’s a good idea to buy mice with a health guarantee, so you can return any that end up being sick when you bring them home.

I would say look for mice that seem to actually want to interact with you, but no mouse I have ever owned was friendly when I first picked them out. All ran around their cage when I tried to pick them up, and a few even leaped out of my hand onto the ground after having caught them. Of course, if one does seem to show interest in you or doesn’t seem as afraid as the others, definitely pick that one! If you buy from a breeder who has socialized their mice and they are used to people and being handled, it can be easier to see what their personalities will be like when you take them home.

Also, if you decide to get a group of females, avoid buying from a store that houses boys and girls together. You are more than likely to bring home at least one pregnant mouse.

Sorry that got so long but I’m very long-winded lmao I HOPE THAT HELPS ;w;

An Army of Giant African Pouched Rats Are Clearing Mozambique’s Minefields

Land mines, unexploded artillery shells and cluster munitions are every bit as effective during peacetime as they are during war. An estimated 72 countries around the world are still affected by them, and their proliferation throughout former war-torn countries continues to reaphorrific consequences on rural communities from South East Asia to Angola.

“The socio-economic impact of land mines and unexploded munitions are huge. These things massively block economic development, and poor people in remote areas are continuing to suffer because of them,” says Tekimiti Gilbert, head of mine action for the de-mining NGOApopo.

“The knowledge of a single mine in the area is enough to stop locals using that land out of fear. Most of these communities survive on subsistence farming. They’re dependent on that land for agriculture, animals, and forestry—even getting firewood for their homes. And the further you move out of cities, the greater the land mine problem becomes.”

Fortuitously, Belgian-born Zen Buddhist and founder of Apopo, Bart Weetjens, has pioneered a new approach to detecting and eradicating land mines; he’s using rats—hulking, cat-sized rats who’ll go to insane lengths for a slice of avocado. And who, along with other de-mining NGOs and the British Government, are pushing to make Mozambique a mine-free country by late 2014.

“Some people are thinking of this idea as crazy,” he laughs in a heavy Belgian accent. “But for me, connecting the dots between rats and mine action was an alignment of the constellations.”


Rest In Peace Lily 2014 - October 8, 2015

Lily passed away today. I was expecting it to happen soon. Her tumors/warts had grown quite fast. And I had no way of knowing exactly how old she was when I got her as she was from the feeder bin. But Lily had a wonderful life regardless I think. She kept Bengal company for the last part of his life, which is amazing in and of itself. 

Lily was obtained as a friend for elderly Bengal as he was too old to be neutered and she would not be able to become impregnated by him as they were not the same species. They got along famously and had many great months together. I full recommend people getting female ASFs as companions to their male mice because of watching these two interact.

Lily was never a friendly animal. Her species is not very tame and as such, she preferred not to be touched. But did eventually learn to gently take food from a person’s hand. People watching was one of her favorite things however. She also loved to run on her saucer. 

Lily was a very good girl, and she loved the mice she lived with. I am so glad Lisa got her for me and that Bengal was able to find love with her. And I am glad I was able to prevent her from ending up in a snake’s belly. I wish she had gotten to stay around longer, but I have no doubt that she lived a wonderful life.