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Rat-catchers were hired to exterminate rats and capture live ones for rat fights, rat coursing, and rat pits.Rat-catchers captured and housed wild rats in cages as well (Matthews 1898).
Norway rats reached North America around 1755 on the ships of the new settlers (Grzimek 1968) and are reported on the east coast of the United States in 1775 (Lantz 1909, reported in Jackson 1982 and Krinke 2000).
In any case, there is little evidence to support the claim that Norway rats came to Europe from the Norwegian peninsula, as reported by Castle in 1947 (Krinke 2000).
Eighteenth century reports describe the displacement of black rats by the more aggressive and larger Norway rats all over Europe (Grzimek 1968, Krinke 2000).
After it arose, the Rattus genus underwent two episodes of intense speciation, one about 2.7 million years ago, and another began about 1.2 million years ago and may still be ongoing (Verneau et al. rattus skeletal remains in the Mediterranean and Europe dating to antiquity indicates that the black rat actually arrived much earlier. rattus bones have been found in Corsica that date to a point between the fourth and second centuries BC (Mc Cormick 2003), in Pompeii, Italy that date to the second century BC, and in London, UK from the mid-third cenutry AD (Armitage et al.
Norway rats originated on the plains of Asia, probably in what is now northern China and Mongolia, where wild rats still live in burrows today.