Sara Weinstein

Brown woodrat facing left, chewing on a daisy.

It’s who you are that matters most

A first-of-its-kind study found that evolutionary history has the strongest influence in both wild and captive woodrats’ microbiomes.


Two African crested rats stand face to face, nuzzling each other. The rodents are rabbit-sized and resembles a gray puffball crossed with a skunk. Their fur is various shades or brown and gray, with dark stripts that line its flanks from leg to its face.

The secret social lives of giant poisonous rats

The African crested rat’s fur is packed with a poison so lethal just a few miligrams can kill a human. Biologists confirmed where it gets its poison, and uncovered an unexpected social life.