Rats are a species that have often been associated with urban areas, and in the largest cities there will often be a subway or an underground railway system to help people to get around the most densely packed areas of the city. While these transport methods are certainly very useful, they also dig into some of the areas where rats would naturally hide, as Brown Rats especially prefer a nest that is at ground level or underground. If you have ever ridden on the New York subway for example, a glance down into the pit below the tracks will often reveal a number of rats scurrying around in the area, looking for food dropped from the platforms.
Why Do You See So Many Rats Beneath The Tracks On The Subway?
The truth is that there are a number of factors that help to make the subway an attractive location for the rats to live, although it may not be the most pleasant thing to see for those traveling on the subway. The first is that the number of people that use these transport systems along with the equipment help to make these tunnels warm, which is one of the main features that make the area comfortable for the rats. In the subway stations, there are many people who will be enjoying a snack or a quick meal as they travel, so there is a surprising amount of food that actually gets dropped in these areas, which makes it a good place for scavenging too.
When Rats Leave The Tracks
One of the more disturbing things for people is that there are occasional instances where the rats will move up from the tracks either on to the platforms or on to the subway trains. A 2016 video which quickly went viral online shows a rat climbing on a person who had fallen asleep on the New York subway, as it looked for possible food sources. There are regular videos and media stories that depict the rat population on the subway, with another showing rats fighting over food, or in one case a small rat trying to drag a large dinner roll to its nest, which was comical as the roll was larger than the rat itself.
What Do These Rats Eat?
Generally the amount of food that can be found on the tracks and in the areas around a subway station will help to keep the rat population in these areas well fed. In some cases if the food is scarce, they may have to go searching for other food sources, but as these stations are often surrounded by populous areas, there are often plenty of other garbage cans and other potential food sources for the rats. As with other areas where rats are found, in some cases rats can eat other rats, and there are a small number of videos that depict this happening on the New York subway too, which would certainly be enough to put someone off their dinner.
The Mortality Rates Of Rats On The Subway
One of the major factors that help to boost the rat population on the subway is that the presence of the trains running regularly means that larger animals cannot live in these areas, meaning there are no natural predators for the rats here. There will be a number of rats that are actually killed by these trains, but as the tracks are raised above ground level, this means the rats will not regularly come into contact with the trains themselves. Although rats will still die on a regular basis in subway stations, their mortality rates are likely to be lower than they are in other parts of the city.
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