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
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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Muskrat

The Muskrat, or Ondatra zibethicus, is a rodent of medium size native to North America. It typically inhabits wetlands and marshes, marking its territory with musk-- a strong scented secretion from the glands. The Muskrat makes for an excellent swimmer (even swimming backwards), and to aid itself in this, is equipped with a long, flat tail covered in scales which leaves a trail on the ground when on land.

As the name suggests, the Muskrat resembles that of a large rat, with thick brown-black fur, small facial features, and tiny front feet for digging.

Muskrats have a height of 4.5”-6.7” (11.5-17 cm), body length between 10”-15” (25-38 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.5-4.5 lb (.7-2 kg). The tail length of a Muskrat is 7”-11” (18-28 cm). Muskrats have a typical lifespan of 2-4 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Muskrat
The Muskrat is a rodent of medium size native to North America. It typically inhabits wetlands and marshes, marking its territory with musk-- a strong scented secretion from the glands. The Muskrat makes for an excellent swimmer and is aided by its flat scale-covered tail.

Muskrats have a height of 4.5”-6.7” (11.5-17 cm), body length between 10”-15” (25-38 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 1.5-4.5 lb (.7-2 kg). The tail length of a Muskrat is 7”-11” (18-28 cm). Muskrats have a typical lifespan of 2-4 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Muskrat
Muskrat
Height:
4.5”-6.7” | 11.5-17 cm
Width:
Length:
10”-15” | 25-38 cm
Depth:
Weight:
1.5-4.5 lb | .7-2 kg
Area:
Tail Length
7”-11” | 18-28 cm
Scientific Name
Ondatra zibethicus
Lifespan
2-4 years (wild); up to 10 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Muskrat side elevation (standing), side (sitting)

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Mongolian Gerbil

The Mongolian Gerbil, also called a jird and originally recognized as the ‘desert rat’, is a small rodent with the scientific name Meriones unguiculatus. It’s adapted to a desert environment, having fur on its entire body, including the tail, to protect itself from the sun.

The Mongolian Gerbil has also adapted for safety, possessing the ability to shed its tail if a predator latches on. This act of survival is important as the Mongolian Gerbil’s tail is approximately as long as its body. It is both a tunnel maker and a considerable chewer, having teeth that grow all the time (a trait shared by all rodents).

Mongolian Gerbils have a height of 2.2”-2.7” (5.6-6.8 cm), body length between 4.5”-5.7” (11.5-14.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2-4.6 oz (60-130 g). The tail length of a Mongolian Gerbil is 3.5”-4.7” (9-12 cm). Mongolian Gerbils have a typical lifespan of 2-3 years in the wild and 3-5 years when raised in captivity.

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Mongolian Gerbil
The Mongolian Gerbil, also called a jird and originally recognized as the ‘desert rat’, is a small rodent with the scientific name Meriones unguiculatus. It’s adapted to a desert environment, having fur on its entire body, including the tail, to protect itself from the sun.

Mongolian Gerbils have a height of 2.2”-2.7” (5.6-6.8 cm), body length between 4.5”-5.7” (11.5-14.5 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2-4.6 oz (60-130 g). The tail length of a Mongolian Gerbil is 3.5”-4.7” (9-12 cm). Mongolian Gerbils have a typical lifespan of 2-3 years in the wild and 3-5 years when raised in captivity.

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Mongolian Gerbil
Mongolian Gerbil
Height:
2.2”-2.7” | 5.6-6.8 cm
Width:
Length:
4.5”-5.7” | 11.5-14.5 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2-4.6 oz | 60-130 g
Area:
Tail Length
3.5”-4.7” | 9-12 cm
Scientific Name
Meriones unguiculatus
Lifespan
2-3 years (wild); 3-5 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Mongolian Gerbil 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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Black-Tailed Prairie Dog

The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a rodent that lives grassland habitats of the Great Plains of North America. Habitat preferences are influenced by the type of vegetative covering, soil, slope, and rainfall, which aid in their foraging and burrowing activities.

They are different than other prairie dogs, as the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog does not hibernate, and they can be seen above ground in the middle of winter. The species in compactly built with small ears that are close to the head. They are a tan color with a lighter-colored belly, and the name, Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, references the tail which has a black tip.

Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs have a height of 5.9”-7.3” (15-18.5 cm), body length between 12”-16” (31-41 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2-4 lb (.9-1.8 kg). The tail length of a Black-Tailed Prairie Dog is 3”-4” (7.6-10.2 cm). Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs have a typical lifespan of 3-5 years in the wild and 8-10 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog in various poses
The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a rodent that lives grassland habitats of the Great Plains of North America. Habitat preferences are influenced by the type of vegetative covering, soil, slope, and rainfall, which aid in their foraging and burrowing activities.

Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs have a height of 5.9”-7.3” (15-18.5 cm), body length between 12”-16” (31-41 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 2-4 lb (.9-1.8 kg). The tail length of a Black-Tailed Prairie Dog is 3”-4” (7.6-10.2 cm). Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs have a typical lifespan of 3-5 years in the wild and 8-10 years in captivity.

Dimensioned collection of scaled drawings of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog in various poses
Black-Tailed Prairie Dog
Height:
5.9”-7.3” | 15-18.5 cm
Width:
Length:
12”-16” | 31-41 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2-4 lb | .9-1.8 kg
Area:
Tail Length
3”-4” | 7.6-10.2 cm
Scientific Name
Cynomys ludovicianus
Lifespan
3-5 years (wild); 8-10 years (captivity)

Drawings include:

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog side elevation (standing), front (upright), side (upright)

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