Rodents are classified by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in both their upper and lower jaws; the length of their incisors are maintained by gnawing, which is how they eat. The diet of Rodents usually consists of seeds and plants, but some species do have more varied diets. Historically, Rodents have been keep as pets, used as laboratory animals, and treated as pests. Rodents accidentally introduced as invasive species to new ecosystems, most notably islands, have been seen to wreak havoc and cause extinction of naturally-occurring species. Rodents are found on all continents, except Antarctica, and are the only species, besides Bats and Sea Lions, to reach Australia without human introduction.

What do rodents eat?

A rodent’s diet depends on the species as well as habitat. For example, mice and rats are able to carry a flexible diet, and quickly adapt to the food available in their surroundings. Squirrels and beavers have more specific food requirements. Beavers exclusively eat plants such as grass and twigs. Rodents generally eat nuts, meat, fish, fruits, berries, and food scraps.

How do you keep rodents out of a garden?

In order to keep rodents out of a garden remove any shelters they have such as brush piles and tall grass, remove food sources, control lawn grubs, and maintain the garden clean by keeping garbage and recycling bins clean. Also seal any holes, place fences, and place mesh tubes around any plants to prevent rodents from eating them.

Where do rodents live?

There are about 2,050 species of rodents and these make up most the most diversified mammalian order. Rodents live all over the world except Antarctica. They can be found in almost every single country, as well as every type of habitat, including man-made environments. Rodents can be arboreal, semi-aquatic, or fossorial.

Rodents Guides
Browse through our curated Rodents Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Rodents. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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1.4”-2” | 3.5-5 cm
2.75”-3.9” | 7-10 cm
.6-1.2 oz | 18-34 g
4 years (wild); 5-6 years (captivity)
African Dormouse
5.000
10.000
0.034
6.00
70
3D
African Dormouse
5.9”-7.3” | 15-18.5 cm
12”-16” | 31-41 cm
2-4 lb | .9-1.8 kg
3-5 years (wild); 8-10 years (captivity)
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
18.500
41.000
1.800
10.00
800
3D
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
7”-8.7” | 18-22 cm
15.7”-20” | 40-51 cm
.6-1.6 lb | 280-740 g
3-6 years (wild); up to 10 years (captivity)
California Ground Squirrel
22.000
51.000
0.740
10.00
4000
3D
California Ground Squirrel
Capybara
157000
20”-24” | 51-61 cm
42”-53” | 107-135 cm
77-146 lb | 35-66 kg
7-10 years (wild); 10-15 years (captivity)
Capybara
61.000
135.000
66.000
15.00
157000
3D
Capybara
5.1”-5.9” | 13-15 cm
9.8”-12.2” | 25-31 cm
6-10.6 lb | 170-300 g
1-4 years (wild); 5-9 years (captivity)
Common Degu
15.000
31.000
0.300
9.00
19200
3D
Common Degu
2.4”-3.5” | 6-9 cm
6”-10” | 15-25 cm
.6-1.5 lb | 250-700 g
1-2 years (wild); 2-3 years (captivity)
Common Rat
9.000
25.000
0.700
3.00
120000
3D
Common Rat
1.4”-2.2” | 3.5-5.5 cm
3.1”-5.1” | 8-13 cm
.7-1.4 oz | 20-40 g
.5-1 year (wild); 1-3 years (captivity)
Common Vole
5.500
13.000
0.040
3.00
73000
3D
Common Vole
1.8”-2” | 4.5-5 cm
2.75”-3.1” | 7-8 cm
.35-.6 oz | 10-17 g
2-3 years (wild); 4-5 years (captivity)
Dark Kangaroo Mouse
5.000
8.000
0.017
5.00
8000
3D
Dark Kangaroo Mouse
1.6”-2.4” | 4-6 cm
3”-4.5” | 7.6-11.4 cm
.14-.33 lb | 65-150 g
2-4 years (wild); 6-8 years (captivity)
Eastern Chipmunk
6.000
11.400
0.150
8.00
4100
3D
Eastern Chipmunk
4.3”-5.5” | 11-14 cm
8”-11” | 20-28 cm
.9-1.3 lb | 400-600 g
6-12 years (wild); up to 20 years (captivity)
Eastern Gray Squirrel
14.000
28.000
0.600
20.00
1900
3D
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Groundhog
172000
8.7”-11” | 22-28 cm
16”-20” | 41-51 cm
5-13 lb | 2.3-5.9 kg
3-6 years (wild); 10-14 years (captivity)
Groundhog
28.000
51.000
5.900
14.00
172000
3D
Groundhog
3.3”-4.1” | 8.5-10.5 cm
7.9”-9.8” | 20-25 cm
1.5-2.6 lb | .7-1.2 kg
2-4 years (wild); 5-7 years (captivity)
Guinea Pig | Cavy
10.500
25.000
1.200
7.00
7300
3D
Guinea Pig | Cavy
1.2”-2” | 3-5 cm
2.5”-4” | 6.3-10.2 cm
1.4-1.6 oz | 40-45 g
1-2 years (wild); 2-5 years (captivity)
House Mouse
5.000
10.200
0.045
5.00
17000
3D
House Mouse
2.6”-4.3” | 6.5-11 cm
5.5”-9” | 14-23 cm
.3-.5 lb | 150-220 g
5-7 years (wild); 10-19 years (captivity)
Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel
11.000
23.000
0.220
19.00
5900
3D
Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrel
4.1”-6.9” | 10.5-17.5 cm
8.5”-14” | 22-36 cm
1.8-2.4 lb | 800-1100 g
8-10 years (wild); 10-20 years (captivity)
Long-Tailed Chinchilla
17.500
36.000
1.100
20.00
1200
3D
Long-Tailed Chinchilla
11”-14.6” | 28-37 cm
23.6”-31.5” | 60-80 cm
13-31 lb | 6-14 kg
Up to 12 years (wild); 12-16 years (captivity)
Lowland Paca
37.000
80.000
14.000
16.00
700
3D
Lowland Paca
2.2”-2.7” | 5.6-6.8 cm
4.5”-5.7” | 11.5-14.5 cm
2-4.6 oz | 60-130 g
2-3 years (wild); 3-5 years (captivity)
Mongolian Gerbil
6.800
14.500
0.130
5.00
2700
3D
Mongolian Gerbil
Muskrat
106000
4.5”-6.7” | 11.5-17 cm
10”-15” | 25-38 cm
1.5-4.5 lb | .7-2 kg
2-4 years (wild); up to 10 years (captivity)
Muskrat
17.000
38.000
2.000
10.00
106000
3D
Muskrat
14.2”-16.9” | 36-43 cm
29”-35” | 74-89 cm
25-75 lb | 11.3-34 kg
10-15 years (wild); 15-25 years (captivity)
North American Beaver
43.000
89.000
34.000
25.00
3500
3D
North American Beaver
12.6”-16.5” | 32-42 cm
23.6”-35.4” | 60-90 cm
20-40 lb | 9-18 kg
10-15 years (wild); 15-30 years (captivity)
North American Porcupine
42.000
90.000
18.000
30.00
200
3D
North American Porcupine
2.2”-2.6” | 5.5-6.5 cm
5.1”-6.3” | 13-16 cm
2.5-4.6 oz | 70-130 g
1-2 years (wild); 2-3 years (captivity)
Norway Lemming
6.500
16.000
0.130
3.00
30000
3D
Norway Lemming
8.3”-11.8” | 21-30 cm
16”-25” | 41-64 cm
10-35 lb | 4.5-16 kg
4-7 years (wild); up to 12 years (captivity)
Nutria | Coypu
30.000
64.000
16.000
12.00
11000
3D
Nutria | Coypu
1.8”-2.4” | 4.5-6 cm
3.5”-5.5” | 8-14 cm
2.1-3.4 oz | 60-95 g
2-5 years (wild); 5-10 years (captivity)
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
6.000
14.000
0.095
10.00
26000
3D
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
3.5”-5.1” | 9-13 cm
8.2”-13.8” | 21-35 cm
.26-.44 lb | 120-200 g
1-3 years (wild); 5-7 years (captivity)
Plains Pocket Gopher
13.000
35.000
0.200
7.00
450
3D
Plains Pocket Gopher
1.1”-1.9” | 2.7-4.7 cm
2”-3” | 4.5-7.6 cm
.7-1 oz | 20-30 g
2-3 years (wild); 4-5 years (captivity)
Roborovski Dwarf Hamster
4.700
7.600
0.030
5.00
17000
3D
Roborovski Dwarf Hamster
9.4”-13.4” | 24-34 cm
18.5”-27.5” | 47-70 cm
3.5-11 lb | 1.6-5 kg
12-15 years (wild); up to 21 years (captivity)
Yellow-Bellied Marmot
34.000
70.000
5.000
21.00
4200
3D
Yellow-Bellied Marmot
Lowland Paca
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of the Lowland Paca compared to an average person

Also known as the spotted paca, the Lowland Paca is a rodent native to the subtropical regions of North and South America. Scientifically known as Cuniculus paca, the Lowland Paca gets its secondary name from its physical appearance: a dark brown coat with rows of white spots running down its sides.

Other physical characteristics include: a large head, short thick legs, and a seemingly nonexistent or nub of a tail. The Lowland Paca is noted to be skillful diggers, swimmers, and climbers. It builds bankside burrows, avoids danger by submerging into the water, and can gather fruits from trees.

Lowland Pacas have a height of 11”-14.6” (28-37 cm), body length between 23.6”-31.5” (60-80 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 13-31 lb (6-14 kg). The tail length of a Lowland Paca is 5.1”-9” (13-23 cm). Lowland Pacas have a typical lifespan of up to 12 years in the wild and between 12-16 years in captivity.

Collection of scaled elevation drawings of the Lowland Paca
Also known as the spotted paca, the Lowland Paca is a rodent native to the subtropical regions of North and South America. Scientifically known as Cuniculus paca, the Lowland Paca gets its secondary name from its physical appearance: a dark brown coat with rows of white spots running down its sides.

Lowland Pacas have a height of 11”-14.6” (28-37 cm), body length between 23.6”-31.5” (60-80 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 13-31 lb (6-14 kg). The tail length of a Lowland Paca is 5.1”-9” (13-23 cm). Lowland Pacas have a typical lifespan of up to 12 years in the wild and between 12-16 years in captivity.

Collection of scaled elevation drawings of the Lowland Paca
Lowland Paca
Height:
11”-14.6” | 28-37 cm
Width:
Length:
23.6”-31.5” | 60-80 cm
Depth:
Weight:
13-31 lb | 6-14 kg
Area:
Tail Length
5.1”-9” | 13-23 cm
Scientific Name
Cuniculus paca
Lifespan
Up to 12 years (wild); 12-16 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Lowland Paca side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (sitting)

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North American Porcupine
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of the North American Porcupine compared to an average person

The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), a common New World porcupine, is second in size behind the beaver as one of the largest rodents in North America. The North American Porcupine is best known for and made distinguishable by its spiny quills that cover its body.

The quills are used as a means of defense and can be used in two ways: they can be shaken to create a warning rattle and they can be embedded into a predator if the porcupine decides to charge. To maintain this defense system, the quills can grow back.

North American Porcupines have a height of 12.6”-16.5” (32-42 cm), body length between 23.6”-35.4” (60-90 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 20-40 lb (9-18 kg). The tail length of a North American Porcupine is 8”-10” (20-25 cm). North American Porcupines have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 15-30 years in captivity.

Series of elevation illustrations of the North American Porcupine in various poses
The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), a common New World porcupine, is second in size behind the beaver as one of the largest rodents in North America. The North American Porcupine is best known for and made distinguishable by its spiny quills that cover its body.

North American Porcupines have a height of 12.6”-16.5” (32-42 cm), body length between 23.6”-35.4” (60-90 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 20-40 lb (9-18 kg). The tail length of a North American Porcupine is 8”-10” (20-25 cm). North American Porcupines have a typical lifespan of 10-15 years in the wild and up to 15-30 years in captivity.

Series of elevation illustrations of the North American Porcupine in various poses
North American Porcupine
Height:
12.6”-16.5” | 32-42 cm
Width:
Length:
23.6”-35.4” | 60-90 cm
Depth:
Weight:
20-40 lb | 9-18 kg
Area:
Tail Length
8”-10” | 20-25 cm
Scientific Name
Erethizon dorsatum
Lifespan
10-15 years (wild); 15-30 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

North American Porcupine side elevation (standing), front (standing), front (upright)

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Common Rat

The Common Rat, scientifically called Rattus norvegicus, holds multiple monikers such as the brown rat, street rat, and sewer rat. As the name suggests, it is considered one of the better-known rats due to its tendency to inhabit typically urban areas filled with humans. Physically, the common rat is distinguished by its long tail, coarse brown or grey fur, and a larger body size in comparison to others within the rodent family.

Other traits the common rat possesses include perceptive hearing, acute sense of smell, communication through chirping and ultrasonic vocalizations, and the skill of swimming.

Common Rats have a height of 2.4”-3.5” (6-9 cm), body length between 6”-10” (15-25 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .6-1.5 lb (250-700 g). The tail length of a Common Rat is 4.3”-9.4” (11-24 cm). Common Rats have a typical lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild and 2-3 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Common Rat
The Common Rat, scientifically called Rattus norvegicus, holds multiple monikers such as the brown rat, street rat, and sewer rat. As the name suggests, it is considered one of the better-known rats due to its tendency to inhabit typically urban areas filled with humans.

Common Rats have a height of 2.4”-3.5” (6-9 cm), body length between 6”-10” (15-25 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .6-1.5 lb (250-700 g). The tail length of a Common Rat is 4.3”-9.4” (11-24 cm). Common Rats have a typical lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild and 2-3 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Common Rat
Common Rat
Height:
2.4”-3.5” | 6-9 cm
Width:
Length:
6”-10” | 15-25 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.6-1.5 lb | 250-700 g
Area:
Tail Length
4.3”-9.4” | 11-24 cm
Scientific Name
Rattus norvegicus
Lifespan
1-2 years (wild); 2-3 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Common Rat side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (sitting), front (upright)

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Common Degu

The Common Degu (Octodon degus), or just degu, is a small, social rodent unique to the lowlands of Chile. Active and extremely social during the day unlike the nocturnal rat, the Common Degu lives in burrows underground dug out in large communities of up to 100 rather than individually.

It is physically characterized by yellowish-brown fur, round ears, thin tail, and figure eight-shaped cheek teeth-- the reason behind its scientific name. People are able to keep the Common Degu as a pet, but it is recommended to have more than one as they thrive in colonies.

Common Degus have a height of 5.1”-5.9” (13-15 cm), body length between 9.8”-12.2” (25-31 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 6-10.6 lb (170-300 g). The tail length of a Common Degu is 5”-6” (13-15 cm). Common Degus have a typical lifespan of 1-4 years in the wild and 5-9 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of Common Degu in various poses
The Common Degu (Octodon degus), or just degu, is a small, social rodent unique to the lowlands of Chile. Active and extremely social during the day unlike the nocturnal rat, the Common Degu lives in burrows underground dug out in large communities of up to 100 rather than individually.

Common Degus have a height of 5.1”-5.9” (13-15 cm), body length between 9.8”-12.2” (25-31 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 6-10.6 lb (170-300 g). The tail length of a Common Degu is 5”-6” (13-15 cm). Common Degus have a typical lifespan of 1-4 years in the wild and 5-9 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of Common Degu in various poses
Common Degu
Height:
5.1”-5.9” | 13-15 cm
Width:
Length:
9.8”-12.2” | 25-31 cm
Depth:
Weight:
6-10.6 lb | 170-300 g
Area:
Tail Length
5”-6” | 13-15 cm
Scientific Name
Octodon degus
Lifespan
1-4 years (wild); 5-9 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Common Degu side elevation (standing), front (standing), front (upright)

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Long-Tailed Chinchilla

The Long-Tailed Chinchilla, scientifically known as Chinchilla lanigera, is one of two kinds of chinchilla native to the Andes of Northern Chile. Living in burrows in high elevations, the Long-Tailed Chinchilla has thick fur or hairs for warmth. Its physical characteristics includes large back eyes, a bushy tail, silky silvery hair, and long hind legs, like that of a rabbit.

Due to hunters seeking after its extremely soft hair, the lLong-Tailed Chinchilla is an endangered species. The lifespan of a chinchilla in the wild is generally 10 years, but that number is doubled if in human captivity.

Long-Tailed Chinchillas have a height of 4.1”-6.9” (10.5-17.5 cm), body length between 8.5”-14” (22-36 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.8-2.4 lb (800-1100 g). The tail length of a Long-Tailed Chinchilla is 3”-6” (8-15 cm). Long-Tailed Chinchillas have a typical lifespan of 8-10 years in the wild and up to 10-20 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of Long-Tailed Chinchilla in various poses
The Long-Tailed Chinchilla, scientifically known as Chinchilla lanigera, is one of two kinds of chinchilla native to the Andes of Northern Chile. Living in burrows in high elevations, the Long-Tailed Chinchilla has thick fur or hairs for warmth.

Long-Tailed Chinchillas have a height of 4.1”-6.9” (10.5-17.5 cm), body length between 8.5”-14” (22-36 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.8-2.4 lb (800-1100 g). The tail length of a Long-Tailed Chinchilla is 3”-6” (8-15 cm). Long-Tailed Chinchillas have a typical lifespan of 8-10 years in the wild and up to 10-20 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of Long-Tailed Chinchilla in various poses
Long-Tailed Chinchilla
Height:
4.1”-6.9” | 10.5-17.5 cm
Width:
Length:
8.5”-14” | 22-36 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.8-2.4 lb | 800-1100 g
Area:
Tail Length
3”-6” | 8-15 cm
Scientific Name
Chinchilla lanigera
Lifespan
8-10 years (wild); 10-20 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Long-Tailed Chinchilla side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (sitting), side (upright)

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