BR-Back Room Rattery-Minnesota, USA (no longer breeding)

Alternatively, non-breeding could simply be more stressful than breeding, at least under the benign conditions of a sheltered laboratory environment. Adult non-breeders are functionally and physiologically fully mature and capable of reproduction; in our laboratory, single copulation events induced by short-term-pairing of unfamiliar non-breeders have repeatedly led to pregnancy and the delivery of healthy litters, no matter whether the mates stayed together as a new pair or whether they were returned into their natal colonies after copulation (, own unpublished data). Although speculative at the moment, we do not want to rule out that a continued lack of mating opportunities might stress the animals and lead to impaired homeostasis in the long term. Also, sexual activity and pair bonding enjoyed by the breeding pair, but not by the non-breeders, is expected to alter the levels of various hormones and neurotransmitters, some of which (e.g. oxytocin) have been linked to enhanced immunity, reduced risk of cardiovacular diseases and reduced stress effects , . These hypothesis are mutually non-exclusive and could well act in concert to explain the divergent ageing rates in Fukomys sp. Studying the underlying mechanisms (gene expression, endocrinology etc.) in detail would be a logical next step and could yield fascinating insights into the biology of mammalian ageing.

AHR-Amber's Hairless Rats and other critters-Brooksville, Florida, USA (no longer breeding)

In the present study we analyse activity of the giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii, the largest social species of African mole-rats. Giant mole-rats live in family groups of around ten individuals , which typically consist of a single breeding pair and its non-breeding offspring. As in other social mole-rats, the family members are supposed to cooperate in energetically costly work tasks such as excavation of new tunnels in order to locate food resources (underground storage organs of plants), carrying food items into food stores and pushing excavated soil into aboveground mounds or into older unused tunnels of their burrow system . To reveal spatial and temporal activity patterns in this species, inter-individual variability of these patterns and their possible determinants, we radio-tracked six individuals (five of them, including a breeding male, were from the same family group). The specific objectives of our study were (a) to compare space-use of individuals belonging to a single family; (b) to compare daily activity patterns of the breeding male with the patterns of non-breeding individuals; and (c) to relate the individuals' activity patterns to daily cycles of temperature in various depths of soil and with the natural cycle of daylight.

BRUX-Brux Rattery-Corvallis, Oregon, USA (no longer breeding)

(No Initials)-Amalthea and Friends Rattery-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (no longer breeding) My goal is to breed genetically strong rats. I strive to pick the parents for their genetic strength which is a reference to health, and I also strongly consider temperament. I breed with the hope to improve the genetic strength of my rats which in turn improves the health and longevity, but I also breed for the love of raising rats and the pleasure of finding them joy filled homes. This all started off as a hobby and now that I have learned much more then expected I am expanding my rattery slowly.​ I breed for the goal of providing healthy rats best fit for owners of all experiences.

CATS-Cat's Rats-Carson City, Nevada, USA (no longer breeding)

When I joined the NFRS and exhibited at the 1976 London Championship show, one of the highlights of the show was the AOV class, there being no unstandardised class then. King of the unstandardised breeders was the Love family, also known as Genesis Stud, and they had entered a large number of rats in this class, both Minks and Pearls. Albert Collins, who was judging, gave the following report: “The next two rats were unstandardised, but what smashing rats . . . a deep cream undercoat blending to a silver cream top then topped with black.” I was there, I saw them, and they were dark Pearls. At that time neither they nor the Mink had a name.

(No Initials)-Cheryl's Rats-Reno, Nevada, USA (no longer breeding)