New Matt Kaplin holiday drawing.

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For those of you that don't know.... Matt Kaplin does these wonderful holiday rat drawings for pretty much each holiday every year. Of course i had to share!!!

A little surprise

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Look at this little surprise i got. I'm not going to give any excuses... it's just one of my girls thought it would be a good idea to sneak ou of her cage during feeding time. It was a small litter- 3 babies. The other two are Black Berks. I've never had a baby that was a berk with a mark on it's head, usually rats with marks like this are hooded or semi-hooded, capped. Isn't he beautiful. Not sure what I'll name him. I'm thinking of naming him after one of my rainbow bridge boys. A good strong beautiful name but not sure which yet. I just had to share. I was waiting for the babies eyes to open before i shared him with the world. His mother is a black berk, the father is probably Mystic, Brandon.. i can't say 100% sure who the poppa is. Isn't this the most beautiful baby. I've never had one that looked like this. Rebecca

Rat Species of the Day - Capybara

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(Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris,[2][3] also known as capibara, chigüiro and carpincho in Spanish,[4][5][6] and capivara in Portuguese[5]) is the largest living rodent in the world.[7] It is related to agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs.[1] Its common name, derived from Kapiÿva in the Guarani language,[5][8] while its scientific name, hydrochaeris, is Greek[1] means "master of the grasses" for "water hog".

Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies and short heads with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of their body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. Adult capybaras may grow to 130 centimetres (4.3 ft), and weigh up to 65 kg (140 lb).[9][10][11][12] Capybaras have slightly webbed feet, no tail,[13] and 20 teeth.[14] Their back legs are slightly longer than their front legs and their muzzles are blunt with eyes, nostrils, and ears on top of their head.[13] Females are slightly heavier than males.[1]

Though now extinct, there once existed larger capybaras that were eight times the size of modern capybaras (these rodents would have been larger than a grizzly bear).[13][14] There is also a "lesser capybara", Hydrochoerus isthmius.[3]

For more info:

Rat Word of the Day- Rodentia

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is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously-growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing.[1][2]

Forty-percent of mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents other than Antarctica. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, porcupines, beavers, hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.[1] Rodents have sharp incisors that they use to gnaw wood, break into food, and bite predators. Most eat seeds or plants, though some have more varied

In terms of number of species — although not necessarily in terms of number of organisms (population) or biomass — rodents make up the largest order of mammals. There are about 2,277 species of rodents (Wilson and Reeder, 2005), with over 40 percent of mammalian species belonging to the order.[3] Their success is probably due to their small size, short breeding cycle, and ability to gnaw and eat a wide variety of foods. (Lambert, 2000)

Rodents are found in vast numbers on all continents except Antarctica, most islands, and in all habitats except oceans. They are the only placental order, other than bats (Chiroptera) and Pinnipeds, to reach Australia without human introduction.

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Year of the RAT

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Year of the rat 2008
February 7, 2008 - January 25, 2009

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2008 is a Year of the Rat (Earth), which begins on February 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009. First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year. It is a time of renewal in so many ways. From New Year to Valentine's Day, to the arrival of spring, may all the blessings and delights of the New Year be yours.

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start. Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful. The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find. People born in an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive. Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes.

They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner. They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities. They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.

Following are my Chinese brush paintings to celebrate the Year of the Rat. Please click the images for more information.

Rat Years

01/31/1900 - 02/18/1901 (Metal), 02/18/1912 - 02/05/1913 (Water), 02/05/1924 - 01/24/1925 (Wood), 01/24/1936 - 02/10/1937 (Fire), 02/10/1948 - 01/28/1949 (Earth), 01/28/1960 - 02/14/1961 (Metal), 02/15/1972 - 02/02/1973 (Water), 02/02/1984 - 02/19/1985 (Wood), 02/19/1996 - 02/06/1997 (Fire), 02/07/2008 - 01/25/2009 (Earth)

An opportunist with an eye for a bargain, Rats tend to collect and hoard, but are unwilling to pay too much for anything. They are devoted to their families, particularly their children. Quick-witted and passionate, they are capable of deep emotions despite their cool exteriors. Their nervous energy and ambition may lead them to attempt more tasks than they are able to complete successfully. Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going.

The sign of the Rat is the first one in the cycle giving Rat people exude great leadership qualities and are good at taking the lead. They don't mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect. For those with the Rat nature, status and monetary satisfaction are the greatest motivation.

The affect of the sign of the Rat is energetic, and demonstrates enough endurance to fight most any sickness. Yet, all Rats tend to be tense, full of nervous energy, and prone to stress. Yoga and meditation would benefit Rats by calming their aggressive natures and helping them manage stress.

Rats make good homemakers who are always willing to do household chores. Because this is a sign of acquisition, the Rat person's house is presumably bursting with various knick-knacks collected over the years. Most Rats are cheerful, domesticated individuals who find happiness at home with their family.

The Chinese say others should always listen to the advice of the Rat. Because of their intellect and observatory powers, Rat people possess prudence and perception. They can anticipate problems, and are always able to see the big picture. Status, money, title and recognition are important to the Rat. They have keen sense of observation that allow them to foresee upcoming business opportunities as well as potential occupational problems. The Rat makes a better boss than an employee. Rats work better in flexible situations where they can be freely creative.

Cunning and thrifty, Rats have a knack with money and are apt to save for rainy days. When capable, the Rat is a great money saver, and in strapped times he knows how to make something out of nothing or how to make things advantageous for himself.

Generally friendly and sociable, the Rat is one of the extroverts of the 12 Animal signs. They have a special gift for easing the minds of others. It is not surprising that Rats have a lot of friends. To the people they love, Rats can be amazingly charitable, popular and supportive. Although Rats like to be in the driver's seat, they do need partners who can keep up with their active lifestyles. Rat people are romantic, and are always happier to have someone to share with.

Famous Rat People

Alyssa Milano, Cameron Diaz, Charlotte Bronte, Daryl Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennie Garth, Kristen Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Lucrezia Borgia, Margaret Mitchell, Margot Kidder, Mata Hari, Nancy Wake, Olivia Newton-John, Sinead Cusack, Stevie Nicks, Toni Collette, and Tracy Pollan.