How Long Do Rats Courting Rituals Last ?
The process of copulation and reproduction is similar in most mammals. Rat being a mammal also follows suit. The basic procedure is the same as in human beings except that it is rather condensed and thereby faster. Female rats, called does, and male rats, known as bucks, usually attain the stage of fertility at the corresponding age that is at about 6 weeks from birth.
In females, it is marked by the incidence of the process of heat. Thereafter, the course of being in heat is repeated in the female after every 5 days till it conceives. Surprisingly, in this mammal the female takes the lead. The mating ritual is commenced by the female rat and it hardly lasts for a few seconds.
The doe makes flirtatious moves to lure the buck by wiggling its ears and whiskers, lifting its rumps and nibbling at the male counterpart. After initiating the process, the doe then runs away. If the female has managed to entice the male, then it chases the doe in pursuit of mating.
During the process of copulation, the male takes the superior position. To make the act more comfortable, the rear legs of the doe bend upwards forming a spontaneous arch of the back referred to as lordosi. The act is short and sweet lasting for just a few seconds. However, it is repeated for the next 24 hours. Thereafter, the sign of pregnancy is apparent in the form of the appearance of the mucous plug in the vagina. The gestation period lasts for about 21 to 23 days. At an average, the female rat gives birth to about 6 pups at one time. However, the number may be as huge as 24 as well. At the time of birth, the pups can neither see nor hear. The mother rat prefers to take care of her babies all alone without the help of her mate. The pups can be weaned off the mother’s milk after a period of five weeks.
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