31 Oct '12, 6pm

Sandy could result in kinder, gentler subway rats

Sandy could result in kinder, gentler subway rats

Advanced-level animal lovers can even manage to care about gross vermin, so if you’re part of that elite group you might be wondering what happened to New York City’s subway rats. If the subway tunnels flooded, what became of all the creepy-tailed rodents who made their nests down there? New York magazine spoke to some rat experts about the question, and the short answer is: Some of them died. But others would have been able to climb or swim out of flooded tunnels, because rats are spooky-smart and also very tenacious and street-wise (and good swimmers in calm water, though maybe not in rushing floods). Here’s the interesting part, though: Because alpha rats would have tended to be further down into the subway tunnels, the survivors might be disproportionately submissive. Which could mean a gentler subway rat population overall. Science writer Bora Zivkovic explained on Tw...

Full article: http://grist.org/list/sandy-could-result-in-kinder-gentle...

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