NIGHT OUT: GETTING COMFORTABLE.
|This section is 1.20 min long, with soundtrack.|
|Topic and Behaviours covered: rearing, running, burrrowing, hoarding (see commentary below)|
One way that mammals avoid predation is to come out at night. Rats are naturally nocturnal, and as the weeks progress, the colony is becoming increasingly active after sunset.
And that's not the only change that we see in our rats. Where once hesitant, they have become very agile. Where they ambled through the open spaces they now check that there is no sign of danger before moving rapidly between sheltered points.
They have built a comfortable and complex series of burrows and corridors. The preferred spot is the straw bales, the rats' equivalent of luxury apartments.
Some females are provisioning these new homes with hoarded food. These laboratory rats, have never lacked food. But here, their wild instincts dictate that they lay in provisions. There may soon be more mouths to feed (see next section).