Photo: Brown rat in need of rebranding

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Our photo of the day comes from somewhere amongst the trees.

When this city mouse thinks of rats, I think of giant rodents living in the sewers, scurrying around dark city streets, and leaping out of sidewalk garbage cans. It's not the most bucolic of imaginings. But then I see a brown rat pictured in more natural environments, like this sweetheart photographed by David Genney, and I remember how cute they are.

That Rattus norvegicus is also known as the street rat, sewer rat, water rat, or wharf rat says a lot about how we view them, but is it their fault we cover the planet with buildings and then force them to make-do amongst our infrastructure? That they can thrive in cities just shows how smart and adaptive they are. And when not lurking around sewers, they are seriously cute! Perhaps it's time to start loving the street rat.

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group. Alternatively, send it to with "photo of the day" in the subject line.

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