Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size; rats are generally large rodents, while mice are generally small rodents. They are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans and are also linked to the spread of contagious animal pathogens that may result in livestock diseases such as Classical swine fever and Foot-and-mouth disease, which can be transmitted to humans.

The normal lifespan of rats ranges from two to five years, and is typically three years.

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