Multimammate Mouse

Multimammate Mouse in Nigeria

Multimammate Mouse, Rattus natalensis, is one of the commonest African rodents. It is so called because the female are multi breasted. Though widespread throughout Africa, the multimammate rat is relatively not common in Nigeria. Being fair climbers, they thrive in human habitats showing tolerance towards its own species and other rodents. Size is mouse-like, but they are often referred to as rat or taken as the link between rat and mouse. Fur in this species is very long and silky.

This rodent species, together with the roof rat has been implicated in the damages to poultry production in Nigeria, resulting in serious economic loss. Multimammate species has also been shown to carry the Lassa virus, alongside two other Nigerian rodents. They have recently been used in cancer research laboratories. Life expectancy is between 2 and 3 years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer