24 July 2011

Giant pouched rat

On a sadder note -
These rats are also becoming useful in some areas for detecting land mines, as their acute sense of smell is very effective in detecting explosives, and they are small enough to not detonate any of the mines. The rats are being trained by APOPO, a non-profit social venture based in Tanzania.

APOPO is also training the rats to detect tuberculosis by sniffing sputum samples; the rats can test many more samples than a scientist using more traditional methods.[3] Land mine and tuberculosis sniffing rats are called HeroRATs.
Video via Nothing To Do With Arbroath.


  1. Why is that a sadder note? People and dogs who try to find land mines are much more likely to set them off accidentally than the rats are...

  2. It's sad that land mines exist, and that anyone has to use any method to locate and disable them.

  3. Cluster bombs are another problem. Not all of the bomblets go off. Some cluster bombs were designed for airstrip denial. Some of the submnitions were designed not to detonate unless moved or tampered with in order to prevent airstrip repair.

    This is the main reason the US has not signed on to UN restrictions on land mines. Some cluster munitions would be restricted by the ban. I don't see why the US didn't propose a new version of the treaty that allowed for some use of clusterbombs, while restricting concealed landmines.

    Landmines are designed to wound rather than kill. The dead can be left behind, the wounded must be evacuated and cared for. Wounding causes more logistic drain than killing. All part of the cruel logic of attrition.

    These pouched rats seem like they'd make great pets.

  4. I love rats! I want to be one of this! ^^


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...