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This article is about the genus Rattus. For pet rats, see Fancy rat.

For other u ses, see Rat (disambiguation). Page semi-protected Rats Temporal range: Early Pleistocene Recent The common brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Superfamily: Muroidea Family: Muridae Subfamily: Murinae Genus: Rattus Fischer de Waldheim, 1803 Species 64 species Synonyms Stenomys Thomas, 1910 Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to huma ns are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus. Many members of other rodent genera and families are also referred to as rats, and sh are many characteristics with true rats. Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. Generally, when someon e discovers a large muroid rodent, its common name includes the term rat, while if it is smaller, the name includes the term mouse. The muroid family is broad a nd complex, and the common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific. S cientifically, the terms are not confined to members of the Rattus and Mus gener a, for example, the pack rat and cotton mouse.