Giant Rats are enormous versions of the common rat, which can mainly be found in Southern Sarvonia but mostly in the surrounding forests of Voldar and the Auturian Woods near Marcogg. They are nocturnal animals, omnivorious and can be quite aggressive if provoked, especially the females. People of Marcogg and the surrounding region even keep Giant Rats for using their milk, which is said to give extra strength.
The head and body length of the adult Giant Rat is around 2.4-2.5 palmspans,
with a tail length of approx. 3.6-4.6 palmspans. Male Giant Rats weigh about 3
ods and females up to 2 ods. The fur is short and thin. The coloring in the mid
stomach regions ranges from dark grayish brown to light gray, with a bit of
brown or clear reddish brown. The general color becomes paler on the sides
ranging from gray with a bit of brown to reddish brown.
The Giant Rat's mouth is practically attached to its nose, lying right underneath it and they have small, pointy teeth. Giant Rats have large, black beady eyes which are positioned right above their long noses. They have small, pink feet with sharp claws to help them climb trees and such to attain food. Their ears are practically naked sticking slightly out of the head. In rare cases there is a fairly visible, almost white, stripe across the back just behind the shoulders.
Giant Rats can climb very well, using their long tail for balancing, and can
swim. A noted form of defense that the giant rats are capable of is when they
sit up on their haunches, blow up their cheek pouches and let out a noisy blast
of air that can knock a creature of its own size over.
Territory. The Giant Rat can be found in Southern Sarvonia but mostly in the surrounding forests of Voldar and the Auturian Woods near Marcogg.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Giant Rat dwells in forests and thickets. They are slow moving and calm when they donít sense danger. Even though they are nocturnal they have been seen foraging during the day. For shelter they often use natural cracks and holes or hollow trees, but they can dig their own burrows. Entrances to the nesting chamber are often sealed with rocks and sand, while a number of escape tunnels also exist in most burrows. The burrows have two to six openings and are mostly located in moist, shaded areas under boulders or at the bases of large trees. The Giant Rat uses its cheek-pouches to store food until it can find a place to put it. In rare occasions they can be seen climbing trees in search of fruit if there is none available on the ground. Female Giant Rats can be very aggressive if provoked while the males are more calm. Staying away from predators is very important to the giant rat and they achieve this by spending only a limited time outside the burrow. Their most feared predators are snakes and cats such as the shingar.
Diet. These rats are completely omnivorous, enjoying fruits, vegetables and insects. The inedible portions of their foods are placed into the lining of the nesting chamber. They will drink water and appear to be dependent on its availability through direct use or from fruits.
Mating. After a gestation period of around 27-36 days the Giant Rat can give birth to a litter of 1-5 babies. Their skin colour starts to develop when they are 4 days old. The mother remains with the young until they are about a week old and then allows them to look for food on their own. Their eyes open fully by the 28th day. The male can be found approaching a female to mate where she will respond defensively, rearing up on her hind legs and pushing the male off with her paws. The male will then keep her from escaping and then comfort her to make her feel safe.
Usages. At times Giant Rats can be found captive for the use of their milk. Some people use it just to drink while others use it, thinking it will give them more strength. The people of Marcogg use it the most. They can be seen catching the stray Giant Rat that is wandering around on their property and selling the milk on the streets. In other parts of Santharia drinking Giant Rat's milk is thought to be disgusting.
Information provided by Finnael