Cave rats are a small species of mammal found in the Phosphorian Caves in southern Tropacia.
Cave rats have a rotund body, with a pair of stubby arms and stubby legs. Their fur is a greyish yellow, which glows brightly in dimmer light. Their head is small and thin, with a long snout and a bright orange nose. They have thick whiskers which let them sense their surroundings. They have short tails that end in a stub; this is so they can crawl through cracks in the ground and turn around in them without a long tail getting in the way.
Genetics and Reproduction
Cave rats are fast breeders. Gestation period for these small pests lasts about 3 weeks, and females breed three times a year to a litter of 5-20. Most of the babies get preyed on by a host of predators before they reach adulthood.
Growth Rate & Stages
Baby cave rats must grow very fast for them to become less vulnerable. It takes about 4 months for a rat to grow to adulthood, a record for species of their particular size. Babies are taught to hunt small water insects and amphibians, small reptiles and occasionally other mammals.
Ecology and Habitats
Cave rats, as given by their name, are a cave system dwelling creature. They live solely in the phosphorian caves and their neighbouring cave systems, their bioluminscence makes them rather visible in regular caves but in the glowing caves they are more hidden. They live close to large plants that glow yellow, similar to them, so that they are more camouflaged from predators.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Cave rats are omnivorous; they evolved to have this diet because of the limited meat supply in the cave systems. They eat mostly vegetation, mushrooms and giant fungi, water plants in shallower lakes, lichen and mosses. They prey on small insects, amphibians, reptiles, and occasionally even smaller mammals in the cave systems they call home.