Not all animals are equal when it comes to the new coronavirus , according to new research that found rats were less vulnerable to it than pet hamsters and turkeys were more at risk than ducks. Scientists in India analysed the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) – the receptor on cells through which the new coronavirus enters – of 48 animals, including mammals, reptiles and birds, and used computer modelling to predict the infectivity of each. All primates including humans, but with the exception of baboons, had about 100 per cent probability of viral entry, “as evident from the devastating nature of the disease in humans”, according to the researchers, from the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, the ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Among bats , the horseshoe species appeared highly vulnerable to viral entry, but the pale spear-nosed did not. All cloven-hoofed animals were predicted to have about 99 per cent probability of viral entry, except pigs, which were not susceptible, according to the study. Camels were vulnerable, while rats and mice were found to be much less so than hamsters. Rabbits, meanwhile, had a medium probability of viral entry. In birds, ducks and white-tailed eagles showed the lowest probability, followed by chickens, while golden eagles and turkeys were high on the probability spectrum. Wild animal trade slows in Indonesia amid coronavirus crisis The researchers said that probability of viral entry was not the sole factor determining infection by the coronavirus – just as some human carriers did not become noticeably ill. But the study’s predictions may help other scientists to focus on certain species’ ability to carry or spread it. The OIE, the World Organisation for Animal Health, had said preliminary studies suggested that cats were the most susceptible species to the virus, and could transmit the infection to other cats. Ferrets were the next most vulnerable, while dogs also appeared susceptible, the organisation said. Pet cat becomes Hong Kong’s first to test positive for coronavirus It was reported in Hong Kong in March that a Pomeranian and a German Shepherd had tested positive for the coronavirus. The preliminary studies had made it “all the more necessary to predict species that could be the most likely potential reservoir hosts in times to come”, the researchers said in their paper, released on Sunday but yet to be peer-reviewed. “Coronaviruses are notoriously promiscuous,” they said. Last month, a tiger at New York City’s Bronx Zoo tested positive after several lions and tigers showed symptoms of respiratory illness.