Top 8 Largest Rats in the World

Introduction: Rats are a diverse group of rodents found all over the world, known for their adaptability and ability to thrive in various environments.

While most rats are relatively small, there are some species that stand out due to their exceptional size.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 8 largest rats in the world, showcasing these remarkable rodents from different corners of the globe.


The capybara is the largest rodent on Earth, native to South America. While it’s not a “rat” in the traditional sense, it belongs to the same rodent family.

Capybaras can weigh up to 150 pounds (68 kilograms) and can grow to be around 2 feet (0.6 meters) tall.

Gambian Pouched Rat

Found in West Africa, the Gambian pouched rat is one of the largest true rats. It can reach lengths of up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) and weigh up to 9 pounds (4 kilograms).

These rats are often kept as pets and have a remarkable sense of smell, making them excellent for detecting landmines.


Native to South America, the nutria has also become invasive in many parts of the world.

They can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and reach lengths of about 2.5 feet (0.75 meters). Nutrias are known for their webbed feet, which make them excellent swimmers.

African Giant Pouched Rat

Another large rat species from Africa, the African giant pouched rat can reach lengths of up to 3 feet (0.9 meters) and weigh around 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms).

They are known for their distinctive cheek pouches and are used for various purposes, including detecting landmines and detecting diseases like tuberculosis.

Norway Rat

The Norway rat is one of the most common rat species and is found worldwide. While not as large as some others on this list, they can still grow up to 9 inches (22 centimeters) in length and weigh around 1 pound (0.45 kilograms).

Polynesian Rat

This rat species is native to the Pacific Islands and parts of Southeast Asia. While relatively small compared to some other entries on this list, they can still reach lengths of around 7 inches (17 centimeters) and weigh up to 5 ounces (140 grams).

Brown Rat

The brown rat, also known as the common rat, is a close relative of the Norway rat. They are similar in size, with a maximum length of about 9 inches (22 centimeters) and a weight of up to 1 pound (0.45 kilograms). Brown rats are found in urban areas all over the world.

Malayan Bamboo Rat

Found in Southeast Asia, the Malayan bamboo rat can grow up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) in length and weigh around 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms).

They are known for their strong digging abilities and preference for bamboo as their primary food source.


These are some of the largest rats in the world, ranging from the enormous capybara to the smaller but still impressive Malayan bamboo rat.

Despite their size, rats are fascinating creatures with unique adaptations that allow them to thrive in various environments across the globe.

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