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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Journals Lewis and Clark as Naturalists

Eastern Wood Rat

Capt. Clark, May 31, 1804--Several rats of Considerable Size was Caught in the woods to day.

Patrick Gass, July 7, 1804--passed a high handsome prairie on the north side, and killed a wolf and a large wood-rat on the bank. The principal difference between it and the common rat is, its having hair on its tail.

Capt. Clark, February 26, 1806--There is rats in this neighborhood but I have not seen them it is most probably that they are like those of the Atlantic States, or at least the native rat of our country which have no hair on their tail. This speces we found on the Missouri as far up it as the woody country extended. it is as large as the common European house rat or reather larger is of a lighter colour, bordering more on the lead or drab colour, the hair longer; and the female has only four tits which are placed far back near the hinder legs. this rat I have seen in the southern parts of the state of Kentucky & west of the Miami.

Capt. Lewis, February 27, 1806--I have see the nests of those in this neighborhood but not the animal. I think it most probable that they are like those of the Atlantic States or at least the native rat of our country which have no hair on the tail. this species we found on the Missouri as far up it as the woody country extended. it is as large as the common European house rat or reather larger, is of a lighter colour bordering more on the lead or drab colour, the hair longer; and the female has only four tits which are placed far back near the hinder legs. this rat I have observed in the Western parts of the State of Georgia and also in Madison’s cave in the state of Virginia.

 
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