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North American Animals - mamals, birds, reptiles, insects
Woodchuck (Marmota monax)
Woodchuck. Lower Saint Lawrence, Quebec, Canada
Photograph by Gilles Gonthier. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Woodchucks are stoutly built with short powerful legs. Males are slightly larger than females. The tail is dark and bushy and only one quarter of the total body length. They have dense woolly fur on the back and sides, with longer guard hair with dark and light bands and white tips, giving the Woodchuck a frosted appearance. The ears are small and rounded and eyes are small and black. The feet are black and slightly flattened with curved claws designed for digging.
Weight: 3kg - 5kg. Length 41cm - 68cm
farmland, grassy pastures, forest edges, woodland clearings
Woodchucks eat leaves, flowers and seeds from a variety of herbaceous plants and grasses. They also eat fruit, grain and sometimes insects. Around farmland they eat alfalfa, clover, corn, oats, fruit and vegetables.
Two to seven young are born in underground burrow after a gestation period of about 30 days. The young are pink, naked and blind at birth. Weaning is after about 6 weeks. Woodchucks live about 6 years in the wild and ten years in captivity.
The Woodchuck is found from central Alaska and across southern Canada to the Pacific coastal provinces, and throughout the eastern half of the United States south to Alabama and Arkansas, and west to the edge of the plains.
When alarmed, woodchucks give a loud whistle. They also bark and squeal when fighting.
Relatives in same Genus
Hoary Marmot (M. caligata)
Yellow-bellied Marmot (M. flaviventris)
Olympic Marmot (M. olympus)