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Groundhog Gifts

The Groundhog is also known as a woodchuck, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Groundhogs usually live from two to three years, but can live up to six years in the wild. Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation, and berries and agricultural crops when available. Groundhogs also eat grubs, grasshoppers, insects, snails and other small animals, but are not as omnivorous as many other sciuridae.


Groundhogs

Groundhog are one of is one of 14 species of marmots.

Groundhog Classification:

Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae
Genus: Marmota
Species: Monax

Other Names: Whistle-pig, Woodchuck and Land-beaver,

Groundhog in Foreign Languages:

Cherokee:
ogana
Czech: svišt lesní
Finnish: metsämurmeli
German: Waldmurmeltier
Greek: aarktómys / marmóta
Polish: swiszcz
Russian: surok
Spanish: marmota


Groundhogs

Conservation Status:
Least Concern

Size: Groundhogs measure 16 to 26 inches in length, including a 6 inch tail. Most groundhogs weigh 4 to 9 lbs, but on ocassion some can also grow to weigh as much as 31 lbs.

Habitat: The groundhog is found in North America, primarily in Southern Canada, Alaska and the Northern United States. Groundhogs build burrows in thickets and open woodlands. In the spring and summer, groundhogs are found in meadows, open fields and pastures.

Description: Groundhogs have a dense, woolly coat of fur. Groundhogs have strong jaws and two prominent chisel-shaped incisor teeth. Groundhogs have small eyes and ears located near the top of their broad, flat head, short legs with sturdy claws that they use for burrowing.

Diet: Groundhogs are herbivores. Groundhogs eat excessive amounts during the summer and build up fat reserves. Groundhogs feed on grasses and plants as well as fruits and tree bark.

Behavior: Groundhogs are usually terrestrial but they can climb trees and are also capable swimmers. Groundhogs dig burrows, that have 2-5 enterances. The burrow's tunnels can be up to 5 feet deep and up to 45 feet in length. It is rare that a groundhog will venture more than half a mile from their burrow.

Gestation: Groundhogs carry their young for 31 - 32 days.

Birth: Groundhogs give birth to litters of 2 - 6 babies. Groundhog babies only stay with their mother for the first 5-6 weeks of their life. Babies are born blind and hairless.

Sexually Mature: Groundhogs are sexually mature between 1 - 2 years of age.

Life Span: Wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, and dogs are predators of groundhogs. Snakes often prey on young groundhogs, by entering their burrows.

Did You Know?

Groundhogs are one of the few animals to truly hibernate. Groundhog hibernation gave rise to the popular American custom of Groundhog Day, held on the second of February every year.

Groundhog Gifts


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