Colour-varieties and markings.
Variations in head-shape, ears etc..
Portraits and personalities.
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To see more photographs of Goobie, visit Kelly Shepard's roof rat web-page.
Horatio, a young "rattus" (pure black) buck from the Rentokil-derived strain: one of the first of the Brantons' hand-reared ship rats. This is the classic "Black Rat" of popular mythology.
Charybdis, an enormous warm, gingery white-bellied agouti or "frugivorous" doe: note colour behind ears, dark ear-margins, and long guard-hairs.
Hickory, a cool greyish frugivorous doe (also a real sweetheart): note colour behind ears.
Lucky Goober Scooter (Goobie), a very dark frugivorous Californian roof rat buck (age about 3 weeks here?) found as an orphan and fostered by Ruby Cook. He grew to be a loving, laid-back pet.
Hickory, a frugivorous (white-bellied agouti) doe, showing white underside. Unusually for a ship rat, Hicky's ears were pink all the way to the edge.
Yoyo, Murdoch's son, a steel buck, showing pale grey underside - and startling muscle-development.
This may be Hickory's cage-mate and probable sister Charcoal, but is more likely my first ship buck, Murdoch. Whichever it is is a steel - a co-dominant combination of rattus (black) and frugivorous (white-bellied agouti) genes.
Murdoch or Charcoal again, showing pale, grizzled flanks. They were both too fast and lively to be photographed except while being held. Steels have a grey stomach, grizzled grey-brown flanks and a black back.
Rachel Donald's Californian grey-bellied agouti or "alexandrinus" doe Rennie showing off her tawny-grey underside and legs - reminiscent of a chocolate and tan show-quality domestic mouse.
Rennie showing her ticked, agouti-type coat. This is the classic "Alexandrine Rat".
Rennie showing her ticking again. That's a sofa she's clinging to: she was sniffing the camera, and she wasn't really scratching her ear - that's just an optical illusion.
Ruby Cook's young Californian doe-kit Little, who was rescued and hand-raised along with her littermates Marie and Jeff. Like Rachel Donald's doe Rennie Little is an "alexandrinus", with an agouti back and grey/tawny belly, but with blacker ears and more red in her coat than Rennie has, and an orange demarcation-line between the back and belly coats. This orange line is also seen in mice.
Valerie Pfeiffer's alexandrinus buck Tobias from western Canada, showing dark ear-margins.
Tobias showing his very pale, ticked belly.
Tobias has a white V on his chest. This looks more like the sort of very regular marking seen in some species of mouse than like the irregular white spots and splashes common on the undersides of Norway rats, and also sometimes seen in ship rats.
Tobias's two-tone tail, with its pink underside.
Cream or dirty white ship buck: photo' taken at the Deshnok rat-temple of Karni Mata, Rajasthan, India by Francoise Cooperman.
Fawn or very dirty white ship rat (certainly with extremely grubby tail) and two steels: photo' taken at the Deshnok by Kees van Duyn. Note delicate pale-pink ears and what would be a pink tail if it wasn't so dirty.