Posts from the ‘Bright Object’ Category

What is a pack rat?

A wood rat is often called a pack rat because it collects shiny objects for its nest.

A wood rat is sometimes called “pack rat” because of its curious habit of stealing and “packing off” shiny buttons, silverware, buckles, colored rocks, or any other small, bright object that catch its fancy.

Pack Rat

Sometimes the pack rat will drop and leave a pebble or something equally useless he is carrying in order to “pack off” a more attractive button or coin.

This accounts for his often being called a “trade rat.”

A pack rat looks much like the common house rat, but it has cleaner habits.  It does not like to live in sewers and garbage dumps.

Instead, some pack rats live in the mountains and make their homes in bulky piles of sticks, which they build on rocky ledges, under trees or in branches.

Other pack rats live in the desert and build their  homes in clumps of cacti or cover their nests with cactus spines to keep enemies out.  A pack rat home may often tower as high as three or four feet.

Pack rats go out only at night to look for berries and seeds to eat, or any nice shiny objects that they find in your yard or camp site that they can “pack off.” – Dick Rogers

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How did the pack rat get its name?

Pack Rat

A wood rat is popularly called “pack rat”  because of its habit of stealing and “packing off” shiny objects, such as buttons, bottle tops or other bright objects with which to decorate its nest.

Sometimes the rat will trade a pebble or something equally useless it is carrying for a more attractive ring or coin.  For this reason it is also called a “trade rat.”

The wood rat is native to the Western world.  It looks much like the common house rat, but its tall is furry, instead of naked and scaly.  Unlike most rats, the wood rat does not live in sewers and garbage dumps.

It makes its home mostly in wooded country and on rocky hillside and builds its nest in a large heap of twigs.

Its home may tower three to four feet high and resemble a badly-made beaver lodge.  The pack rat goes out only at night to look for berries and other plant food, or any nice, shiny object it can “pack off” to its nest. – Dick Rogers