posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 06:36 PM
I have kept and handled rats, I know them inside out, rats tails becoming intertwined is physicaly impossible. Their tails are made up cartelege &
gristle, bending it or 'tying' it would cause the rat immense distress & pain. The tail does NOT bend to the degree required to tie up in knots.
My theory on 'rat kings' is a litter of babies born this way, like siamese twins if you like. I doubt their life is long or enjoyable, once one rat
in the 'king' died, the others would either cannibalise it, or it would carry infection that would wipe the group out. Also their ability to outrun
predators would be seriously hindered, if at all possible, they would fight to the death if nothing else.
I think the German one is a fake, conjoined litters is possible, but highly rare, and the whole rat king thing is coined to cause the fear of rats
more than anything else.
On the whole, domesticated rats are pretty sweet, hundreds of them are bred every day, so if this was at all common, it would happen in captive bred
rats as well.
The 'dumbo' rat is very adorable, although again, it is an exploited fault that could well have serious implecations in further generations. Maybe
as this goes on, we'll see a man made 'rat king'.
Also, please remember at the time of the German mummy one, the fear and paranoia about rats was extreme, creating such a fake back then, nobody would
have questioned it, the fear was already there, and someone jumped on the bandwagon. Perhaps a rat catcher with no fear of the rodents decided to
somehow bind them together one night after too much ale? just a thought, on the skeptical side of things.
[edit on 25-6-2010 by The Chez]