Florecne Dayz: The World's Biggest Rats

Oct 6th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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Florecne Dayz: The World's Biggest Rats

Whenever i am in Florence i take a walk along the banks of the Arno and from the vantage on the river not far from the American Consulate - north from the town center i always see down below in the mud what are the biggest rats i've ever seen

The rats munch on the parade of food debris floating down the river - they swim around and fight ducks and sea gulls for the scraps.

The rats have been here for years and years now.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Been to New York, London, Paris, Moscow, lately?
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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Those aren't rats, at least not the huge ones. They are nutria.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Are you sure they weren't nutrias?

The nutria is like a cross between a rat (it is a rodent) and a beaver. Wiki has some pictures:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coypu
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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Well by the pictures they could be nutrias and by the size i guess - i never heard of those critters so called it a rat

Still it looked a tad more like a rat in being thin haired vs the pictures on Wiki

but no i did not know but will take a picture this Jan when i go to Florence again.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Google "Florence nutria" and a You Tube video comes up and also a good discussion on Slow Travel.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Just like the muskrat these are actively hunted and killed in the Netherlands as they cause a huge amount of damage to dikes and the edges of waterways.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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I enjoyed watching those animals on my last visit to Florence, since they were familiar friends. My childhood home in a suburban neighborhood on Long Island had a backyard pond had a family of muskrats. The ones in florence seemed virtually identical.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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I like watching them too! I think they are cute.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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Maybe the Florence Tourist Office should put watching the Nutrias on their official guide map?
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Oct 6th, 2008, 10:40 AM
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Back in the dark ages when people wore fur, didn't one pay a lot of money for a nutria coat?
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Oct 6th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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seems like local Florentine eateries should want to put these nutriant-laden foods on their menus?

nutria al fredo?
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Oct 6th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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They were introduced to Italy (and other places) as a fur source, but, as one poster mentioned, they are pretty destructive and have been considered a pest for many years.

Compared to the nutria, the Norway/wharf rat has a longer/pointy face and bigger ears.
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Oct 6th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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Hi PalenQ,

I'm actually in Florence as I write this and I actually saw that thing you're talking about yesterday. I stood there for about 15 mins trying to determine what the heck it was. I finally decided that it had to be a rat based on the tail. But, boy, what a huge rat. I've never seen one that big before and it was swiming away, if it was indeed a rat. Yes, I've seen the ones in DC, they don't have a thing on this one.

jdc
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Oct 6th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Here's a link to the ones I knew.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muskrat

They were pretty timid, venturing just a few feet from the water to get some grass. One grew particularly bold and would raid Mom's garden for dahlia plants.
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