Rats! They're some of the most dangerous, destructive and useful animals on Earth. The resilient rat has terrified humankind for centuries, but is the bad rap justified? In this episode of ... See full summary »

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Rats! They're some of the most dangerous, destructive and useful animals on Earth. The resilient rat has terrified humankind for centuries, but is the bad rap justified? In this episode of Modern Marvels, we'll take the viewer on a rollercoaster ride through our love-hate relationship with the rat. We'll ride along with a Terminix exterminator to get face to face with the creepy creature in a near rat infestation and see the great lengths we take to get rid of the pesky pest. And we'll tour the Hacco Inc. rodenticide plant to see just how they concoct tasty poisons. But at the Taconic rat breeding facility, we'll see how hundreds of thousands of rats are purposely bred and hand-raised in high-tech, controlled environments. We'll get up close and personal with the remarkable rodent as it competes in the Xtreme Rat Challenge and at the annual American Fancy Rat show. We'll trace their history and role as a vector of deadly diseases, but also explore at the Medical College of Wisconsin ... Written by Anonymous

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30 April 2008 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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You'll Never Look At A Rat The Same Way!
20 February 2009 | by (Lockport, NY, United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, this turned out to be a "Everything You Wanted To Know About Rats.....and Then Some."

I never realized there was so much to learn about this rodent - good and bad. Yeah, everyone knows about The Plague and, largely because of it, rats have.....let's say....a not-so-good image. They are kind of creepy-looking, anyway. Most people are not thrilled to see them!

However, for some folks it is just the opposite, as we see in this Modern Marvels episode: they are "adorable" pets to some. We even witness a rat "show," like a dog show, complete with a "Best In Show" award! This contest is held in California - no surprise - and most of entrants who coddle and kiss their little rodents are women.

It is interesting to see the different kinds of colors rats come in, not just the dark kind we're used to seeing, and it was fascinating to see how they respond to stimuli. There are even "robo rates" with small devices on top of them in which a person can control their movements. It's not cruel; there is no pain involved, and it could be very useful in the future to find bodies missing, such as in plane crashes. These rats have incredible bloodhound-like senses of smell.

Maybe the most interesting part of this show were the statistics on rats, such as how many there are in different countries and cities, how long they live, what percentage of human deaths they contribute to......etc/, etc. - all very interesting stuff. It all contributes to make this one of the better Modern Marvels episodes.


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