Found dead by the path. A youngster, I think.
No interactions present.
Since making the ID above I have established that both rats are on Crete, but I would still tend towards Black Rat on appearance.
recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on www.hbrg.org.uk/TRY.html.
This is a black rat, the uniform black tail is the giveaway, as well as the general jizz of the animal.
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Jizz? Is this naturalist's technical jargon? ;)
It is - although someone pointed out to me earlier this year that it has a less savoury definition as well. Google only if you have a strong constitution!
It means the indefinable property of dogness, chaffinchness, blackratness etc. that allows an experienced naturalist to recognise species at a glance without reference to any of the things you find in keys and field guides.
I meant to ask you after your ID what mammal book you used. If it specifies which mammals are found in Crete, it could be very useful to me. The only book I have too general, really.
It was the Collins' Guide to mammals, but that is obviously out of date, as if you Google 'mammals crete' you will find a lot of links that are useful, including the one where I found the reference to Brown Rat on the island.
Thanks, I will try that.
I had not noticed I used jizz, to be honest I don't use it often as I consider it a lazy way of saying 'I know what it is but I can not be bothered to tell you how I know!'
What I should have said is the grey/black back and clearly defined line between this and the white underbelly. Also the sleeker body and more snub nose when compared to a brown rat. I've only seen them abroad and when they move they look less 'ratty' somehow, more like a large mouse than a brown rat.
I did think it didn't look very ratty - rats are one of the very few animals that usually rather revolt me, and this one looked quite pretty - and that (and it's size) is why I thought it might be a young one.
General Impression of Size and Shape - a term coined by ARP wardens in WWII when learning to identify enemy aircraft
... except that it appears in the bird-watching context in a book by TA Coward in 1922. http://www.archive.org/download/birdhauntsnature00cowarich/birdhauntsnat... - you will find it on p140.
Another myth debunked!
What a treasure that book is! Thanks for the introduction.
Hah! So it's an old Irish word. But perhaps not because the chapter ends with:
"Since the publication of the first edition, a friend pointed out that in Webster's Dictionary both "gis" and "jis" are given as obsolete varients of guise, and this seems to be the origin of the expressive word."
See also p131:
"The keen interest taken in sport, football in particular, is largely responsible for the lack of enthusiasm about natural science"
Bring back egg-collecting!
Clearly footballers in TA Coward's day were a different breed, I would say the watching of some modern football games was similar to the study of carnivores on the Serengeti!
I never did know where the word jizz came from, thanks.
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