Video of 'shower rat' bathing like human goes viral

Posted at 7:41 AM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 11:32:39-05

A strange video of a "shower rat" that seems to be bathing just like a human has been making its rounds across social media.

The video, from Peru, shows a rodent standing next to a drain with what looks to be soap all over its body. The rodent is seen rubbing the soap all over its body in a human-like manner.

But, the now famous rat is actually a Pacarana, a type of brown rodent from South America, Newsweek says. 

"With the large head size, bipedal position, flexible forelimbs, short stiff tail, and consistent coat color, this animal fits the ID of a Pacarana," Dallas Krentzel, an evolutionary biologist who studies rodent diversity at the University of Chicago at the Field Museum, said to Newsweek.

Krentzel says Pacaranas are often seen standing on their hind legs.

Gizmodo spoke with Tuomas Aivelo, a researcher in Urban Rat biology at the University of Helsinki, about the video. 

"The movements are pretty strange," Aivelo told Gizmodo. "A rat wouldn't do that unless there's something it really wants to get rid of."

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