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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Amaze-wing Woodchuck Facts For Kids

Check out some exciting Woodchuck Facts about these large burrowing rodents.

Woodchucks are also known as Groundhogs or Whistle Pigs. Their scientific name is Marmota monax. It belongs to the Kingdom of Animalia and the Class of Mammalia. Groundhogs are rodents belonging to the family of Sciuridae. When the Groundhog or Whistle Pig hibernates, its heartbeat slows down from eighty beats a minute to five beats per minute, and its respiration decreases from sixteen breaths to as many as two breaths per minute. Its body temperature drops from around 99 degrees F (37.2 C) to 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Woodchucks are considered true hibernators and enter into a deep sleep in late fall.

The Groundhog(Marmota monax) diet is mainly vegetarian. They feed on an assortment of grasses and chickweeds, plantains, clover, and various types of wild and developed blossoms. They eat blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and different natural products, alongside maple trees and the bark of hickory. They can even consume young June bugs, grasshoppers, and other enormous bugs.

Groundhog lives, breeds, and hibernates underground. But before doing that, they have to dig a lot. The Woodchuck is a herbivore that prefers tender plants to harder bark and trees. They do not eat hardwood, but Woodchucks do not 'chuck' wood; they do 'chuck' dirt into the burrows as they build underground burrows.

Here on our page, we have lots of Woodchucks animals facts that everyone will enjoy. Let's have a look at these interesting facts, and if you do like these, then do read our alpine ibex and fennec fox.

Woodchuck Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Woodchucks?

Woodchucks (Marmota monax) are also called Groundhogs and are one of 14 species of Marmots. The Woodchuck or Groundhog is a lowland creature of North America.

What class of animal do Woodchucks belong to?

Woodchucks or Groundhogs belong to the class of mammals.

How many Woodchucks are there in the world?

A relevant study has not yet been conducted to study the population of Woodchucks all over the world.

Where do Woodchucks live?

Woodchucks (Groundhogs) live underground by digging tunnels or holes called burrows. These Groundhogs are mostly found in the eastern parts of the United States, mainly in an open field or well-vegetated gardens. They don't typically roam farther than 150 feet at max from their dens in the day. During hibernation, a Groundhog's body temperature drops from 99° F to 40° F, and its heartbeat slows down to four beats per minute.

What is a Woodchuck's habitat?

Woodchucks prefer open areas such as fields, open forests, clearings, and rocky slopes. They dig their burrows in areas where dense grasses and other plants that provide food. Their burrows can reach 30 feet to 40 feet in length and have multiple tunnels that contain numerous chambers. They generally tend to avoid damp or swampy areas.

Who do Woodchucks live with?

Woodchucks are solitary creatures who only gather during mating season.

How long do Woodchucks live?

The average life span of a Woodchuck or Groundhog is five to six years in the wild and can live up to 10 years in captivity. They have sharp claws that they use to dig impressive burrows in the ground in the wildlife.

How do they reproduce?

After almost three months of hibernation, male Groundhogs wake up early to prepare for the mating season. In early February, the weather of upcoming spring, Woodchucks leave their burrows to scope out where females hibernate. The mating season starts during early March to spring weather. Females litter almost half a dozen young newborns, which stay with their mother for many months in the wildlife.

What is their conservation status?

Woodchucks or Groundhogs have the conservation status of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species.

Woodchuck Fun Facts

What do Woodchucks look like?

Woodchucks or Groundhogs have short and muscular legs which are specially designed for digging. Their body is covered with white hair strands that give them a grizzly look. Their paws come in a standard black or even a dark brown in most subspecies. However, one subspecies consists of paws that look pinkish. Their short bushy tail is around 25% of their body length.

These Whistle Pigs feed in the early morning and use the built-up energy throughout the day.

How do they communicate?

Woodchucks (Groundhogs) communicate using various sounds, like a shrill alarm whistle to warn one another of approaching predators.

How big are Woodchucks?

A Groundhog (Woodchuck) generally grows up to 20 inches in length in wildlife, with a tail that measures about six inches, and typically, its weight ranges between 6-12 lb (2.7-5.4 kg). Groundhogs, in late summer, begin to put on weight to prepare to move in their winter dens, which are most commonly located in wooded areas. During winter, they also use up the energy they stored up during summer.

How fast can Woodchucks run?

When Woodchucks are terrified, they run for a small distance to the closest burrow entrance. Their short bodies usually move at two mph, but when frightened, they sprint at ten mph.

How much do Woodchucks weigh?

The weight of a Groundhog ranges from 6-12 lb (2.7-5.4 kg). They generally grow almost up to 20 inches (50cms) long, with a tail that measures around 6 in (15 cm). They put on their weight in winters as a preparation to move into their winter dens.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific male and female names of the Woodchuck Groundhog species.

What would you call a baby Woodchuck?

A young Woodchuck or Groundhog would be called a 'kit' or a 'cub'.

What do they eat?

The Groundhog's wildlife diet is mainly vegetarian; they feed on various grasses and chickweeds, plantains, clover, and different varieties of wild and cultivated flowers. They also eat blackberries, cherries, raspberries, and other fruits, maple trees, and hickory bark. Woodchucks also love fresh produce. They may even eat June bugs, grasshoppers, and other large insects in the wildlife.

Are they dangerous?

Groundhog is not a dangerous animal to humans. They can, sometimes, prove to be destructive when it comes to fences, gardens, lawns, and farmed plots. They can even chew on your automotive parts and create engine problems.

Would they make a good pet?

They are wild creatures and are known to be the carriers of viruses and diseases. They cannot be confined to domestic living and hence do not make good pets.

Did you know...

One of the common Woodchucks facts is that they are considered the largest members of the squirrel family that can climb trees. They are the only marmots towards the East of the Mississippi. Woodchucks are considered true hibernators who enter into a deep sleep in late fall when the cold weather starts until summer. Woodchucks emerge from hibernation during spring with some remaining body fat to live on until the next hibernation.

There is a famous American baseball team named Wisconsin Woodchucks.

Woodchucks are diurnal and most of their activities during the day involve gathering food.

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" is a very famous tongue twister worldwide.

Tradition says that if a Whistle Pig sees its shadow that day, there will be six more weeks of winter.

What are Woodchucks good for?

Groundhogs may not appear useful to humans, but they have their place and identity in the ecosystem. They provide food for coyotes, weasels, foxes, and eagles. Their burrows give shelter to amphibians, smaller rodents, reptiles, and even larger animals such as foxes.

How to get rid of Woodchucks

You can get rid of Woodchucks in different ways. You can create vibrations in the ground to scare them away It is possible to use smoke to get them out of their tunnel, or put ammonia down their tunnel. It can be useful to sprinkle with garlic and pepper, too. Funnily enough, throw some human hair around the yard. Use agricultural lime to irritate their feet or sprinkle talcum powder in the garden.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals, including gray fox, or gundi.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Woodchuck coloring pages.

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