Download The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on by SA Barnett PDF

By SA Barnett

Greater than the tale of the way humans and rats dwell jointly, this publication takes a major and interesting examine technological know-how and scientists, the issues they clear up and fail to resolve, and the scope and imperfections of our clinical wisdom of the area. It solutions questions corresponding to: Are rats nonetheless a probability to human healthiness? Do rats imagine? Is it actual that wild rats occasionally die, unwounded, from social pressure? Can reviews of rat societies let us know whatever worthy approximately our personal social lives? This compelling old and social learn will catch the curiosity of all readers—from these enthusiastic about rats to those that cringe—by explaining the fragile and infrequently unstable affects people and rats have had on one another over the centuries and into the trendy age.

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Extra resources for The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them Animals Pets

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And he complains of the ‘low condition of science’ and of the lack of accurate observers at the time of the Black Death. In the towns and cities of late mediaeval and early modern Europe, hygiene hardly existed. Hence, as the authorities thrashed around looking for causes, they also blamed stinking fish, bad meat and mouldy corn. P. Wilson, in his account of plague in Shakespeare’s time and earlier, writes: Modern magistrates should know the case of the taverner who sold bad wine in 1364, and as punishment was made to drink a deep draught of it, and was drenched with the remainder.

R. alexandrinus) and tawny (R. r. frugivorus). But these colour ‘morphs’ should not be treated as subspecies: they appear in all parts of the species’ vast range and may all occur among the offspring of a single female. The light coloured forms are evidently typical: the black form is common only in the northern parts of its distribution, in Europe and North America. Like Norways, individuals if taken young can be tamed (I have done it); but R. rattus has never been systematically domesticated.

31 T H E S T O R Y O F R AT S Image Not Available A rat catcher in Shakespeare’s time. P. Wilson, The Plague in Shakespeare’s London, Clarendon) A prominent feature of city streets was an enormous population of dogs. As a result, the dogs (which may have done something to keep down the rats) were sometimes destroyed by municipal order. The poor also resorted to eating the dogs. In the West, rats were hardly suspected as plague carriers, hence dog catchers, but not rat catchers, were well thought of.

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