Rat Attack Recap


Once again, NOVA did not disappoint. I really enjoyed watching the “Rat Attack” special. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not yet had a chance to watch it, but I found the cyclical correlation between black rat populations and bamboo flowering fascinating. I was astonished to learn how quickly black rats could reportedly reproduce resulting in as many as 10,000 rats per acre. The problem is when the rats run out of bamboo fruits to eat, they turn to crops, causing widespread famine. With the new information presented in the documentary, farmers may be able to help prevent famine brought on by the population booms of black rats.


  1. #1 GregH
    August 5, 2011

    Thanks for the tip! That was a very interesting show, not only because it gave a good account of the analysis of the rat problem, but because along the way it gave a nice postcard summary of Mizoram and its people, rat biology, the life history and economic importance of bamboo, and basic reproductive dynamics. My son (10) enjoyed it very much, although he was a bit taken aback by the rat dissections.