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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Adult Cannibalism?

Ok, if anyone has read my recent post on the babies dying...I am sad to say that they have all passed at this point.


Last night my friend left her apartment and while she was gone the last little baby passed (I'm assuming). When she came home she found one of the 3 week old rats on top of it and it had consumed all of its vital organs. Needless to say, she was extremely disturbed to find this.


Now, I have heard of mothers eating their young..but, a cage mate? There was plenty of food and water available in the cage..so, I can't see how the rat could have been desperate for protien.


Also, the other two 3 week olds didn't TOUCH the baby. It was just the one rat that ate it..as it was the only one with blood all over it.


Although, I do realize that cannibalism can happen..I am just a little concerned about this incident as neither of us are 100% sure that the baby was dead before it was consumed.


Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 10:47 AM
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It is extremely normal for rats to cannibalize their dead. And the baby would pretty much have to be dead before being consumed or the cage would have had fresh blood all over it. Even a tiny baby will struggle while being killed.

A rotting corpse in your house draws predators, it's their safety mechanism.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for explaining that. I will be sure to let my friend know about that.


I must admit..even though I knew it was normal..the thought of it creeped me out too!


I thought I was gonna have a zombie rat on my hands! lol ((braaaaaaains!))
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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Jennicat is right Rats eat their dead in the wild to prevent disease and predators from invading their mischief. It's completely normal if a little disturbing to we humans.
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