One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A large semiaquatic rat-like rodent.
- ‘It's murky, and I realize that there might be water rats.’
- ‘Down here is all darkness, the only sound the slur of rain in the dirt, water rats scratching inside the walls.’
- ‘Since when did notions of cleaning up the backyard shed, eating water rats, and wiping the bottoms of naughty rich children constitute entertainment?’
- ‘Smooth-coated otters are omnivorous and will eat insects, earthworms, crustaceans, frogs, water rats, turtles, large birds, and fish.’
- ‘Within this family, some species are particularly relevant, as is the case of Nectomys squamipes, a South American water rat that is a primary host of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni.’
- ‘The 17 hectare nature protects eight hectares of undisturbed rainforest, which is home to pademelons, brush turkeys, water rats and possums that can be seen on walks.’
- ‘To determine the geographical distribution of the phenotypes, we analyzed 820 skins of the South American water rat that were collected in various places in Brazil over a century and deposited at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro.’
- 1.1British another term for water vole
- ‘Never having seen such a thing as a river, he becomes immediately entranced and soon makes a friend of Mr. Rat, a water rat living right on the bank.’
- ‘Elsewhere, herons studied it; swans, ducks, coots and moorhens ruffled it; water rats (I saw only one) sent small, semicircular ripples out across it.’
- ‘He conjures up images of water rats and crested newts killed by bulldozers.’
- ‘The annual report from the conservation charity Mammal Trust UK named the water vole - also known as the water rat - as the UK's most rapidly declining mammal.’
- ‘There are kingfishers, herons, mink, water rats…’
- ‘Following Coleridge's death the second editor was Frederick Furnivall, a fantastic eccentric in an age of eccentrics (he was the model for the water rat in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows).’
- ‘It cut its teeth on water rat, badger, otter and fox in its native Yorkshire, England, then proved to be an excellent watchdog and retriever, too.’
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