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
Guinea Pig | Cavy

Originating from the Andes of South America, the American Guinea Pig is considered the oldest, most popular Guinea Pig (or Cavy) breed. Today, the American Guinea Pig is commonly kept as a pet although it was originally raised as livestock in its native country. Its scientific name is Cavia porcellus, with porcellus meaning “little pig” in Latin.

Considered one of the larger-sized rodents weighing up to three pounds (48 ounces), the American Guinea Pig is physically characterized by its stout body, short, flat coat appearing in a variety of colors, rounded nose, and the absence of a tail.

Guinea Pigs have a height of 3.3”-4.1” (8.5-10.5 cm), body length between 7.9”-9.8” (20-25 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.5-2.6 lb (.7-1.2 kg). Guinea Pigs have a typical lifespan of 2-4 years in the wild and 5-7 years when raised in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Guinea Pig or Cavy
Originating from the Andes of South America, the American Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus) is considered the oldest, most popular Guinea Pig (or Cavy) breed. Today, the American Guinea Pig is commonly kept as a pet although it was originally raised as livestock in its native country.

Guinea Pigs have a height of 3.3”-4.1” (8.5-10.5 cm), body length between 7.9”-9.8” (20-25 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.5-2.6 lb (.7-1.2 kg). Guinea Pigs have a typical lifespan of 2-4 years in the wild and 5-7 years when raised in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Guinea Pig or Cavy
Guinea Pig | Cavy
Height:
3.3”-4.1” | 8.5-10.5 cm
Width:
Length:
7.9”-9.8” | 20-25 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.5-2.6 lb | .7-1.2 kg
Area:
Tail Length
Scientific Name
Cavia porcellus
Lifespan
2-4 years (wild); 5-7 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Guinea Pig (Cavy) side elevation (standing), front (standing)

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Nutria | Coypu
Dimensioned size comparison illustration of the Nutria (Coypu) compared to an average person

Also known as the Nutria, the Coypu (Myocastor coypus) is a rodent native to the subtropics of South America. The Coypu is known to spend its time both on land and in the water. As an herbivore, the Coypu feeds on vegetation and resides in burrows-- both of which are found along the banks of the marshes and lakes it inhabits.

The Coypu is similar in appearance to both the beaver and the rat, although larger in size, and has distinguishable features which includes coarse brown hair, webbed feet, a long round tail, and incisors of a vibrant orange color.

Nutrias have a height of 8.3”-11.8” (21-30 cm), body length between 16”-25” (41-64 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 10-35 lb (4.5-16 kg). The tail length of a Nutria is 10”-16” (25-41 cm). Nutrias have a typical lifespan of 4-7 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Nutria (Coypu) in assorted postures
Also known as the Nutria, the Coypu (Myocastor coypus) is a rodent native to the subtropics of South America. The Coypu is known to spend its time both on land and in the water. As an herbivore, the Coypu feeds on vegetation and resides in burrows—both of which are found along marshy banks.

Nutrias have a height of 8.3”-11.8” (21-30 cm), body length between 16”-25” (41-64 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 10-35 lb (4.5-16 kg). The tail length of a Nutria is 10”-16” (25-41 cm). Nutrias have a typical lifespan of 4-7 years in the wild and up to 12 years in captivity.

Set of scaled elevation drawings of the Nutria (Coypu) in assorted postures
Nutria | Coypu
Height:
8.3”-11.8” | 21-30 cm
Width:
Length:
16”-25” | 41-64 cm
Depth:
Weight:
10-35 lb | 4.5-16 kg
Area:
Tail Length
10”-16” | 25-41 cm
Scientific Name
Myocastor coypus
Lifespan
4-7 years (wild); up to 12 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Nutria (Coypu) side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (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 Vole

The Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) is a small vole within the over 100 different species in the rodent genus of Microtus. Physically, the Common Vole has a stout body, blunt nose, tiny eyes and ears, and hairless tails. Although it can be mistaken for other rodents based on appearance, its behavior is what causes distinction.

The Vole will dig burrows underneath plants to gain access to its root systems, destroying the area and eating until the plants are dead. The presence of a number of Voles will become noticeable upon the destruction of a number of plants, although they play an important role in the disbursement of nutrients.

Common Voles have a height of 1.4”-2.2” (3.5-5.5 cm), body length between 3.1”-5.1” (8-13 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .7-1.4 oz (20-40 g). The tail length of a Common Vole is 1.2”-1.6” (3-4 cm). Common Voles have a typical lifespan of .5-1 year in the wild and 1-3 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Common Vole
The Common Vole (Microtus arvalis) is a small vole within the over 100 different species in the rodent genus of Microtus. Physically, the Common Vole has a stout body, blunt nose, tiny eyes and ears, and hairless tails. Although it can be mistaken for other rodents, its behavior causes distinction.

Common Voles have a height of 1.4”-2.2” (3.5-5.5 cm), body length between 3.1”-5.1” (8-13 cm), and an overall weight in the range of .7-1.4 oz (20-40 g). The tail length of a Common Vole is 1.2”-1.6” (3-4 cm). Common Voles have a typical lifespan of .5-1 year in the wild and 1-3 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Common Vole
Common Vole
Height:
1.4”-2.2” | 3.5-5.5 cm
Width:
Length:
3.1”-5.1” | 8-13 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.7-1.4 oz | 20-40 g
Area:
Tail Length
1.2”-1.6” | 3-4 cm
Scientific Name
Microtus arvalis
Lifespan
.5-1 year (wild); 1-3 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Common Vole side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (sitting)

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Ord’s Kangaroo Rat

Scientifically known as Dipodomys ordii, Ord's Kangaroo Rat is a small, nocturnal rodent with large hind legs found in the deserts of North America. Kangaroo Rats are solitary and have several adaptations to survive in these remote areas. Its name derives from its bipedal movement, a form of locomotion also used by the kangaroo.

Like the kangaroo, but developed entirely separately, the kangaroo rat can hop around at great distances and with the ability to quickly change direction whilst jumping. Aside from its way of getting around, the kangaroo rat is distinguished by its tail being longer than that of both its body and head combined.

Ord’s Kangaroo Rats have a height of 1.8”-2.4” (4.5-6 cm), body length between 3.5”-5.5” (8-14 cm
), and an overall weight in the range of 2.1-3.4 oz (60-95 g). The tail length of a Ord’s Kangaroo Rat is 5.5”-6.5” (14-17 cm). Ord’s Kangaroo Rats have a typical lifespan of 2-5 years in the wild and up to 5-10 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
Scientifically known as Dipodomys ordii, Ord's Kangaroo Rat is a small, nocturnal rodent with large hind legs found in the deserts of North America. Kangaroo Rats are solitary and have several adaptations to survive in these remote areas. Its name derives from its bipedal movement.

Ord’s Kangaroo Rats have a height of 1.8”-2.4” (4.5-6 cm), body length between 3.5”-5.5” (8-14 cm
), and an overall weight in the range of 2.1-3.4 oz (60-95 g). The tail length of a Ord’s Kangaroo Rat is 5.5”-6.5” (14-17 cm). Ord’s Kangaroo Rats have a typical lifespan of 2-5 years in the wild and up to 5-10 years in captivity.

Series of measured elevation illustrations of the Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
Height:
1.8”-2.4” | 4.5-6 cm
Width:
Length:
3.5”-5.5” | 8-14 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2.1-3.4 oz | 60-95 g
Area:
Tail Length
5.5”-6.5” | 14-17 cm
Scientific Name
Dipodomys ordii
Lifespan
2-5 years (wild); 5-10 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Ord’s Kangaroo Rat side elevation (standing), front (standing), side (jumping), front (upright)

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