By SA Barnett
Greater than the tale of the way humans and rats reside jointly, this booklet takes a major and fascinating examine technological know-how and scientists, the issues they clear up and fail to resolve, and the scope and imperfections of our medical wisdom of the realm. It solutions questions resembling: Are rats nonetheless a probability to human overall healthiness? Do rats imagine? Is it precise that wild rats occasionally die, unwounded, from social tension? Can experiences of rat societies let us know something valuable approximately our personal social lives? This compelling ancient and social learn will catch the curiosity of all readers—from these enthusiastic about rats to people who cringe—by explaining the fragile and infrequently unstable affects people and rats have had on one another over the centuries and into the fashionable age.
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Extra info for The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them Animals Pets
From the Italian city of Florence, struck by plague in 1348, we have a firsthand account by a survivor, the celebrated and controversial poet Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). Many of his works were moralities which urged the value of sacred, 34 All fall down rather than profane, love; but, as the historian Judith SerafiniSauli writes, ‘a certain indulgence in earthly delights frequently creeps in’. Boccaccio was a superb story teller who followed the prescription of cheerfulness in the face of calamity.
In 1894, however, two bacteriologists, a Japanese, S. E. Yersin (1863–1943), in Hong Kong during a plague outbreak, discovered the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis (now known to have several forms). Their findings made possible development of a serum which conferred immunity against plague. They also led to worldwide researches on the many rodent species which carry the infection. Rodents support battalions of fleas, and human infection usually requires a flea bite. The flea must come from a rodent, often a black rat, especially one that is dying or has died from the infection and is therefore shedding its fleas.
16 Naming and taming Image Not Available This harmless looking creature, the Indian mole rat (Bandicota bengalensis), is present in uncounted millions in many Asian countries, where it is a major pest. C ONFLICT B ET WEEN S PECIES How long the black rat has been in Europe is uncertain. A skull and other remains of black rats have been reported by James Rackham from a Roman well of around 300 AD, discovered in the north of England. The well evidently served the Roman army stationed on Hadrian’s Wall, the once great but now grass-grown barrier between England and Scotland.
The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them Animals Pets by SA Barnett