When you think of rodents, you probably think of small animals like mice that your mom doesn’t want in the house. But there are over 1,500 types of rodents, including woodchucks, porcupines, muskrats, chipmunks and squirrels. There are more rodents than any other mammal. Rabbits aren’t rodents. Hamsters, gerbils, mice and rats are sometimes kept as pets.
All rodents have two front teeth that keep growing every day. Rodents gnaw on wood, paper and wire to keep their teeth sharp. Most rodents are small, but the capybara, which lives in South America, can weigh up to 115 pounds. That’s the size of a big, big dog!
Fun Facts about Rodents for Kids
- Most rodents are herbivores. That means they eat plants, nuts and seeds. Some rodents are omnivores. They eat plants and other animals like insects, frogs and birds.
- Rodents usually only live 3 to 4 years. They have many babies.
- Rodents are smart. Rats, for example, can learn tricks.
- Some rodents dig underground tunnels. Others live in trees.
- Porcupines look a little like hedgehogs, but they are not related.
- Gnaw: Chew
- Herbivore: Eats plants
- Omnivore: Eats plants and meat
- Tunnel: Underground path or road
Learn More All About Rodents
Check out this fun video all about rodents:
A short video list about the world’s weirdest rodents.
Question: Are rodents dangerous?
Answer: Rodents aren’t usually dangerous. However, some can carry disease. Rats, mice and squirrels can build nests in the house, eat your food or chew on electrical wires.
Question: Why are my rodent’s teeth yellow?
Answer: Rodents naturally have yellow teeth.