Can Rats Die from Falling? (Rats Surviving Terminal Velocity)

Last updated on October 1st, 2022

Recently, I had to get pest control done at my home as I discovered a rat infestation in the basement and attic.

While the pest control folks were working, I saw a rat jump from the attic and straight onto a tree. The sight intrigued me because I never thought rats could perform such feats. But learned that rats could survive falls from great heights. When I spoke of this to the exterminators, here is what I learned.

A rat can die from falling by hitting a sharp object or breaking its neck. Since rats are small and relatively weightless, they will experience little pull from gravity allowing them to land on their feet thus surviving the impact of that velocity.

Can rats survive if they fall from great heights?

The simple answer to this question is yes. But the question remains: What is the maximum height from which, if a rat jumps, it can survive the fall? Research shows rats can survive a fall of fifty feet. So, if a rat leaps off fifty feet building, it will not die due to the fall.

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Does that mean a rat can get injured if it falls from fifty feet?

According to Understanding Animal Research, rats are one of the most commonly used animals on which various experiments are carried out.

Based on terminal velocity calculations, scientists found that a fall from a height of fifty feet can be dangerous if the rat cannot position itself properly during the fall.

Usually, rats land on their paws to break the fall and ensure they do not get hurt.

How far can rats fall without injury?

A rat falling from 50 feet toward concrete can suffer injuries such as broken bones or paralysis, however, a rat falling from 50 feet onto a sponge-like material will be less likely to suffer any injuries.

Are rats good climbers?

Yes, rats are excellent climbers and will climb anything they can grip. You will find that they can easily climb trees and the upper reaches of a building.

It is also evident from the fact that they can jump off tall buildings that rats are excellent climbers.

To jump off from a height of fifty feet, they first need to reach this height. This is possible only if they are excellent climbers.

How do rats climb to reach heights of fifty feet or more?

Rats use their paws like hands to climb trees or even scale the walls of a building.

You will find that during fall or at the onset of winter, rats scamper on the walls of buildings to find secure and warm places on the upper parts of a building.

To reach the upper spaces of a tree or a building, they will use their paws like hands and their tail for balance.

Wondering about what animals can survive terminal velocity? Look no further and check out that article for more information.

Why can rats survive falling from great heights and more giant animals cannot?

In the case of rats, the animal size is much smaller than the larger ones.

So, if you were to drop a dog or an elephant from a height, the terminal velocity of the animals would be much higher than a rat’s.

This would prove to be quite fatal for a large animal.

But due to the smaller size of a rat, the terminal velocity that the rodent will achieve during the fall would be much less.

This ensures they do not get hurt even when they fall from a great height.

Are rats capable of jumping horizontally despite their bulky bodies?

Rats are quite capable of jumping.

If you think of the more giant brown rats with much heavier bodies, these too can cover a significant distance in a single jump.

Rats can jump quite far as they can jump relatively high.

You will find that they can leap across a distance, jump up and take a dive from a ledge. Despite their bulky bodies, rats are pretty flexible creatures.

Does jumping come naturally to rats?

Yes, jumping is a natural ability of rats. If they jump across long distances or from a great height it is necessary that they are able to survive.

Hence, it is natural that rats won’t die from falling as they have the natural ability to climb and jump.

In Summary

A rat can sustain broken bones or paralysis if it falls from 50 feet toward concrete; however, it will not suffer any injury if it falls from 50 feet onto a sponge-like material.

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