|Kanji||化けネズミ / バケネズミ|
|Anime||02. The Vanishing Children|
|Novel||Part I: Chapter 04|
Queerats or Monster Rats (化けネズミ / バケネズミ Bakenezumi) are one of the in-world creatures of Shin Sekai Yori. They are the other dominant species in the series, and are considered to be an inferior race that were raised up by humans from naked mole rats. They play a major role in the story.
- Queerats are first shown to be primitive creatures inferior in physique and intelligence. They are capable of communicating with language and are able to use tools, making them useful labor for humanity.
- Queerats have three distinguishing characteristics. The first is their appearance, which resemble hairless rats and are around sixty centimeters to a meter in height. Standing upright, they are between 1.2 and 1.4 meters. In some cases they can be as tall as an average human.
- Second, even though they are mammals, they operate within a eusocial structure like ants or bees, and live in colonies under a queen. This is a trait that comes from their ancestor, the east African naked mole rat. The queen is the only member of the colony with reproductive abilities, and wields absolute power as a monarch. Small colonies have only around two or three hundred workers, but large ones can have thousands, even up to ten thousand, workers.
- Third, queerats are far more intelligent than dolphins or chimpanzees, with intelligence that approaches that of humans. Those who pledge allegiance to humans and become "civilized colonies" are given protection in return for their tributes and labor. The colonies are named after various insects.
- Queerats are strictly managed by the Department of Exospecies Control, which Saki works in after the second time skip. Queerats must apply for permission for a variety of activities, such as attacking another colony. Hence, all colonies require an envoy fluent in Japanese.
- Queerats are commonly believed to have descended within the last thousand years, as humans used Cantus to raise naked mole rats into a stronger, more intelligent species. For this reason, humans generally regard queerat loyalty and subservience to be a given, and any act of rebellion is harshly punished. In the worst case scenario, the whole colony is eliminated.
- At the end of the story it is revealed that, despite common belief that the queerats evolved from mole rats, they are actually descended from humans without psychokinesis. When humans who were able to use psychokinesis inserted attack inhibition and death feedback into their DNA to prevent acts of violence against each other, humans without psychokinesis became a problem, as death feedback depended on subconscious Cantus to stop liver and thyroid functions. The balance of power would then shift towards the non-Cantus users as they could freely kill without dying in return. To avoid a reversal of the existing power hierarchy, naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) genes were inserted into those humans' DNA until they could not be recognized as humans and thus would not trigger death feedback. Thus, queerats (with the suggested scientific name of Homocephalus glaber) were born.
List of Colonies
- Robber Fly: The Colony which Squealer is from. Took half of the Ground Spider infants upon their defeat. Some time after rebuilding, they overthrew their queen by means of revolution and lobotomized her to keep her docile, while keeping her alive to reproduce. They changed their societal structure to one based on democracy instead of the absolute rule of the queen.
- Giant Hornet: The colony of the Giant Hornets is known to be the strongest colony among all. Their commander is Kiroumaru, although the whole colony has a strong loyalty to their mother, the queen of the colony, and the humans, whom they consider gods, like it is common for their species. During the attacks of the Ground Spider colony on the Robber Fly colony, the Giant Hornets form an alliance with the latter, to help them out against the rather brutal fellows of their species. Upon the end of the battle, Kiroumaru takes half of the infants of the Ground Spiders and gives the other half to the Robber Flies.
- Ground Spider: The foreign colony from the mainland that attacked the Robber Fly colony and utilised a variety of mutated queerats such as balloon dogs. They captured Saki and Satoru after Rijin's death and was eventually eliminated by the Giant Hornet colony coming to the aid of the Robber Fly colony.
- Goat Moth:
- Wood Ant
- Banded Dragonfly
- Giant Stag Beetle
- Cave Cricket
- Paper Wasp
- Ground Beetle
- Tiger Beetle
- Diving Beetle
- Blue Centipede
- Plant Hopper
- Pyraloid Moth
- Garden Tiger Moth
- Tachina Fly
- Orb Spider
- Army Ant: A no longer existing out colony that was last seen five years prior to the story. They lost against the Giant Hornet colony and were completely wiped out, as reported by Squealer. The Army Ant colony was over eighteen thousand strong, and praised as having the largest army. They excelled at siege warfare, and on this occasion had surrounded the Giant Hornets and set up camp. Near the end stage of the battle, the Army Ant general, Quikur, dispatched all but the queen's bodyguards. The colony was stationed only a few kilometers away from the Giant Hornets. They could only move above ground at this distance, and since their army was so big, the front line was already halfway there before the rear troops even left camp. Quikur decided to wait at the foot of the mountain for the rest of the soldiers to catch up. He assumed that the smaller Giant Hornet troops were hiding underground and dismissed the possibility of being attacked from the cliff that the locals call Greenwall. General Kiroumaru led his elite team secretly up the mountain and plotted an ambush. The enemy was right below the cliff that everyone assumed was too steep to climb. However, General Kiroumaru saw a gecko climbing across the bare rock, and said what would later become a famous quote, "Geckos have four legs, we also have four legs. If a gecko can climb this mountain, there is no reason we cannot."
- Human names are only given to queerats in recognition for their outstanding abilities. Out of all the colonies, fewer than twenty have been named, two of them being Kiroumaru and Squealer (Yakomaru).
- The language that queerats speak has different dialects and differs by country and region.
- Although unproven, it is heavily implied that Squealer and his colony knew about the fact that they were actually human for the most part, since it is assumed they had a False Minoshiro as data source, which would also explain how they learned about ancient weapons of mass destruction among other things. This is also evidenced by Squealer directly stating that queerats are human during his trial.
Noteworthy Monster Rats
References & Citations