rice rat

noun
any rat of the genus Oryzomys, having an exceptionally long tail, especially O. palustris, inhabiting rice fields and marshes of the southern U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

Origin:
1880–85

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

rice rat

any of 36 nocturnal species of small rodents found from the United States southward through tropical and portions of subtropical South America. Rice rats have soft fur, with tawny to grayish brown upperparts and paler underparts. Their tails are sparsely haired and vary in length depending upon the species. Body size also varies. Among the smallest is Oryzomys alfaroi, from southern Mexico to western Ecuador, with a body up to 12 cm (4.7 inches) long and a slightly shorter tail; among the largest is O. angouya, found in eastern Brazil, Paraguay, and southern Argentina, with a body length up to 20 cm and a much longer tail

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The rice rat prefers marshy areas and is semi-aquatic.
The park's rodents include the marsh rice rat and round-tailed muskrat, also at home in a watery environment.
Cur principal native rats are the rice rat, the cotton rat, and that friendly nuisance: the wood rat or pack rat.
The endangered rice rat depends on large areas of adjacent or contiguous saline and freshwater wetland habitat.
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