The marsh rice rat is a semiaquatic North American rodent in the family
Cricetidae. It is found mostly in the eastern and southern United
States, from New Jersey and Kansas south to Florida and
northeasternmost Tamaulipas, Mexico; its range previously extended
further west and north, where it may have been a commensal in
corn-cultivating communities. It usually occurs in wet habitats such as
swamps and saltmarshes. Weighing about 40 to 80 g (1.4 to 2.8 oz), the
marsh rice rat is a medium-sized rodent that resembles the common black
and brown rat. The upperparts are generally gray-brown, but reddish in
many Florida populations. The hindfeet show several specializations for
life in the water. The skull is large and flattened and is short at the
front. John Bachman discovered the marsh rice rat in 1816 and it was
formally described in 1837. Several subspecies have been described
since the 1890s, mainly from Florida, but there is disagreement over
their validity. The marsh rice rat is active during the night and
builds nests of sedge and grass and occasionally runways. It has a
diverse diet that includes plants, fungi, and a variety of animals.
Litters of generally three to five young are born after a pregnancy of
about 25 days, mainly during the summer. Several animals prey on the
marsh rice rat, including the barn owl, and it usually lives for less
than a year in the wild. It is infected by many different parasites and
harbors a hantavirus that also infects humans.
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
Wars of the Roses: The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the
Lancastrians near the town of Barnet, killing Richard Neville, Earl of
Actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot U.S.
President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of Georgians demonstrated in Tbilisi against an attempt by
the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR to change the constitutional
status of the Georgian language.
In an American friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort
in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shot
down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.
A storm dropped an estimated 500,000 tonnes of hailstones in Sydney and
along the east coast of New South Wales, causing about A$2.3 billion in
damages, the costliest natural disaster in Australian insurance
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. A small group of stars that forms a visible pattern but is not an
2. A rarely used typographical symbol (⁂, three asterisks arranged in
a triangle), used to call attention to a passage or to separate
sub-chapters in a book.
3. (mineralogy) A star-shaped figure exhibited in some crystals by
reflected light or by transmitted light
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Sad hours and glad hours, and all hours, pass over;
One thing unshaken stays:
Life, that hath Death for spouse, hath
Chance for lover;
Each thing save one thing: — mid this strife diurnal
Of hourly change begot,
Love that is God-born, bides as God
And changes not.
--James Branch Cabell
Show replies by date