Do Rats Have Bones?

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Rats have this amazing ability to fit anywhere.

At any time.

For any reason.

It’s a bit odd, isn’t it? The way they just bend, distort, and squish their little bodies into what seems to be the most uncomfortable positions known to man.

It makes you wonder whether or not rats even have bones!

… So, do rats have bones?




Photo by: Mirta12 via Wikimedia Commons

The Rat’s Skeletal System: Yes, They Have One!

As much as we would like to believe that rats have some kind of super skeleton, or a body built of flexible cartilage, they actually have a run of the mill skeleton just like we do! Lots of hard, calcium rich bones combined with their tiny joints are capable of all of these crazy positions and fitting into tight spaces. It is truly no different than our own; it’s just far, far smaller in size, made up of the tiniest little bones.

Do Rats Have Bones That Dislocate and Bend to Fit Through Holes and Tight Spaces?

You might think that rats simply must have bones that’ll give way; after all, you see them slide like jello through what seems to be an incredibly small hole.

As interesting as that would be, again, their bones are hard and solid like ours; so they don’t give way when the rat needs to make a big escape.

Thankfully, rats bones do not dislocate when pushing through a hole, nor do they snap back in place after. Could you just imagine the horrifying sound of your rats bones just popping back into place? The thought of that sound makes me squirm just a little bit; I’d be scared that something was wrong!

Photo by: Losch via Wikimedia Commons

How Do Rats Get Through Tiny Holes When Escaping, Getting Into Houses, or When Getting Into Cage Toys?

Firstly, I’d like to say that it is VERY important that you make sure that your rat has adequate space to get in and out of toys; our pets tend to get on the heavier side sometimes, and getting stuck while going to bed for the day isn’t exactly the big event that your rat is looking forward to.

Now, those cute little whiskers on our rats’ faces work in much the same way that a cat’s do. As a matter of fact, the whole rat works in much the same way as a cat, when it comes to sneaking around!¬†The whiskers help a rat to determine the size of an opening in proportion to the rat’s body, telling the rat whether or not it’ll make it through. The rat’s bones form a tight, rounded, cylindrical body, and they are quite the expert squirmers! When the rat determines that it should fit, it jumps through the hole. If the hole is a tight fit, it will squirm and wiggle through, with its front paws pushing away from the surface that the hole is in. This allows it to get through quickly and efficiently; with the exception of our well rounded ratty friends that aren’t exactly within the healthiest of weight ranges.



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