This is no pizza rat that grabs the goods and runs.
The African crested rat has a personality so toxic that it chews on a poisonous tree, flings the nuggets onto its back, where the venom hides in special, texturized hairs until the next predator — hyena or wild dog — shows up, the New York Times reported.
An elephant can even be felled by this rodent, the world’s only killer rat, which new research by Utah biologist Sara Weinstein confirms has the bravado of a heavyweight champ.
The rat certainly has “the personality of something that knows it’s poisonous,” Weinstein told the Times.
Weinstein’s study, published in the Journal of Mammology, builds on a 2011 study that described the rat’s poisons but found only one — in captivity — that did the gnaw-and-spit move. She and her team were able to establish a pattern by videotaping 25 of the critters they had trapped and brought back to the lab.
But don’t think the rats are only nasty all the time.
The scientists discovered the rodents are sweeties sometimes — some males and females went steady and even shared child care.