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Just What Is A Rodent, Anyway?

1369 words - 6 pages

One of the best ways to prevent rodents is to first learn about them, their habits, and their likes and dislikes. In this way, you will understand what makes them tick, and can more accurately pinpoint successful ways to eradicate them from your property with the least amount of bother and danger to you, your children, and your pets.

Did you know that there are more different kinds of rodents than any other group of animals worldwide? Scientists have identified close to 2000 different types of rodents. When most people hear the word rodent, what automatically pops into their mind? Usually, they get the mental image of a big rat or a small, but just as dreaded little mouse. These animals ...view middle of the document...

Chapter 2 – What Makes Rodents Different

All mammals share the same distinctions. They have fur or hair, a backbone with vertebrate, are warm blooded, and use milk made by the mother’s own mammary glands to feed their babies. There are many things that set mammals apart from other vertebrates, or creatures with a backbone, and one of those is the type of teeth that they have.

Every mammal has a different kind of teeth, but a couple of the rodent’s teeth are very different from most. Here is the reason why.

Rodents have incisors.
Incisors are the name of your biting teeth, located directly in the front of your mouth.
In rodents, these teeth will grow for the entire time the animal is alive.
Many people who keep rabbits as pets think that they are rodents because a rabbit also has incisors that grow throughout its life. But the difference is that a rat only has one pair of incisors in the middle of its upper jaw, and a rabbit has two sets.

Because of these ever-growing teeth, all rodents do a lot of chewing. This is to keep the teeth from growing so long that they protrude out of the mouth and prevent the rodent from eating. Rodents kept in captivity and given nothing to chew, such as a wooden block, will eventually die of starvation as their teeth grow longer and longer. This is why you will find evidence of rats and mice all through your home, and in your yard and storage sheds as well. Rats and mice, and to a certain extent, squirrels, must gnaw, and they will damage wood, electrical wires, soft metals such as aluminum, and insulation such as what is placed in walls and attics. You can sometimes actually see teeth marks and other evidence of their chewing activity.

Chapter 3 – The Rodent’s Personality and Habits

Most rodents are small, such as the rat, mouse, hamster, and gerbil. Some, like the capybara, which holds the title of the world’s largest rodent, weigh a hundred pounds or more. Most also have five toes on their back feet, and four on their front feet. Rodents are nocturnal animals, and are at their most active at night. And active means very active to a rodent! All of their activity means that they expend tons of energy, and need to eat a lot of food to keep going. In their natural habitat, without the help of nearby humans, food can be scarce for rodents, and some will hibernate. Others have stored food for the winter, and will sleep deeply for a time before waking up to eat. This takes place several times during the cold winter months.

What do rodents eat?

Most are plant eaters, but a few will eat only meat.
Some rodents are omnivores, which means that they will eat plants and animal flesh… and even things made with animal flesh. They even like soap that is made with animal fats!
The rodents most of us will...

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