back to article US ARMY prepares force of GIGANTIC BOMB RATS

More news this week from the perhaps surprisingly active field of US military combat rodent operations, as reports have it that Pentagon boffins are considering deployment of crack units composed of highly trained, enormous bomb rats into the Wars on Stuff. These bomb rats, we should hasten to add, would not be explosive-laden …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    these rats are great

    These rats are fantastic

    cue dangermouse music.

  2. playtime


    We3 by Grant Morrison.

  3. Evilutionist
    Thumb Up

    Hero Rats

    The US army are behind London based IT professionals on this one - I have already adopted my own bio-weapon detecting rat - Tyson. Also worth a youtube search for Herorats - they have a rather good theme tune.

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Thanks for the link

      I think that's some Christmas presents for the 'I've got everything' crowd sorted out.

  4. Christoph

    What a great idea

    So now as well as being groped, nervous passengers are going to have giant rats sniffing round them. And anyone with phobias about that? Tough luck, don't travel.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Rats rule...

    I saw a documentary on the use of rats in Africa to detect landmines. It was amazing. Apparently they learn faster than dogs, have more acute smell than dogs, are obviously more portable than dogs, cheaper to keep (i.e. feed etc.) than dogs.

    They can also be used for sniffing out other stuff such as narcotics etc., so could also be used by police forces and drug enforcement agencies.

    Wonderful stuff!

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      Awesome rats!

      So why not use them instead of pick_one($perv_scanner, $molestation_station)?

  6. Anonymous Coward


    ..running out of idea's there? I smell an IP case in the air.. either that or the beans from last night are repeating on me..

    1. Daniel B.


      The other way round. These ones are sniffing bombs to disable 'em, not sniffing peanut butter-marked targets while carrying explosives to blow 'em...

  7. Lottie


    Ahem, those rats are so CUTE!

    HAving kept regular fancy rats a while back, I'm not surprised that they are thinking in this direction. They're really smart animals.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: squeeeeeeee!

      Fancy rats are skill. They're like very small dogs. It's just a bit rubbish that they only live a couple of years.

      1. Lottie

        Very true.

        Mind you, they cost a lot less to get cremated though.

  8. Fluffykins


    Thank you Mr Pratchett

  9. John G Imrie

    I d'know

    Bloody African Giant Pouched Rats coming over here taking our rats job's.

    Oh sorry I seam to be channelling the Daily Mail.

  10. stucs201

    Rodents of unusual size?

    Training them? "Inconceivable!" How do you get them to do "as you wish"?

    (Pirate Icon? Dread pirate Roberts obviously)

    1. Dagg

      Rats train easy

      I've had a couple of sets of rats and they are very easy to train, along the same lines as dogs.

      So much better than trying to train cats, rats actually have brains.

  11. Mage Silver badge

    Closer to Cavies

    Not really rats, though technically just about Rodentia

  12. Ken 16
    Big Brother

    Every plane should have a few crawling around the baggage lockers

    The reassuring patter of their feet above passengers heads will prevent Terror gaining ground.

  13. Dave 126 Silver badge

    IT Training...

    I read about the idea of bomb-sniffing rats a few rats around 2001 / 2002, following the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York- apparently the US suddenly realised that it had a shortage of dogs trained to sniff bombs, since their canines had all been trained to find drugs instead.

    As I recall, the chief advantage of using rats- besides their lower weight and size- was that much of their training could be automated in a sort of augmented-reality maze, whereas dogs required an expensive one-to-one relationship with a costly human trainer.

    So there is your IT angle... don't take my word for it, I imagine it's in the archive of New Scientist magazine, if anyone with a subscription (and thus access to the archive) cares to confirm.

    I wouldn't imagine that using bomb-rats and bomb-dogs in the same area would be a good idea...

  14. stucs201

    For those who grew up in the 80s

    Expand their remit to include drugs and you get: Rodent Olfactory Landmine And Narcotic Detection. Or ROLAND rat.

  15. stupormundi

    "they are apparently shy and docile"

    these guys seem to take a generous view of docility.

    "Making an armoured rat glove"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    used to detect landmines

    Detect, or trigger? Watching swarms of large rats run across a minefield could be hilarious

  17. Major Variola

    DIY vs Factory made

    "IEDs, the primary threat to Western troops in modern conflicts, as opposed to landmines or other regular munitions manufactured in established arms factories."

    Taxpaying arms factories, no less.

    But its great that the DIY / Maker culture can thrive in a place like.. well, any of the Empire's colonies..

  18. Johnny Canuck
    Thumb Up

    Rodents and Landmines

    Crazy rodents on Landmine Island!

    (ala Robot Chicken)

  19. John Savard Silver badge

    Not Sumatra? Pity.

    Well, trained rats that can detect explosives, as opposed to spreading plague among civilians or eating their crops, sound like a good thing. But the fact that these giant rats are from Africa rather than Sumatra is, of course, a disappointment to Sherlock Holmes fans.

  20. bugalugs

    The use man has made of animals in war

    has always broken my heart.. I mean it's not their fight, is it ?

    Whatever happened to the sniffer tech the septics

    were supposed to have used in 'nam ?

    Has that tech stood still ? Not likely !


    Badgers - No projected military use at this time

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Ben ?

    Does anyone remember Ben (and that sugar-coated song by Michael Jackson) ?

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