Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Wild Things: Woodchuck





Woodchucks are also called groundhogs, whistle-pigs or land beavers. They are known for their digging - sometimes digging 40 feet into the earth where they spend the winter in hibernation.  Woodchucks are typically 16 - 26 inches long and up to about 9 lbs..  They have powerful claws, short legs and a flattened head.



When a woodchuck is frightened the short bushy hairs on their tail stand straight up - making it look alot like a hair brush.  Sometimes a squeal or whistle will warn their colony of a predator (earning the name whistle-pig) and other sounds are typical like a low bark or grinding of their incisor teeth 


Woodchucks are very good swimmers and can climb trees, too.   They eat wild grasses, grub, insects and other small animals - and they are able to stay hydrated by eating leafy plants (instead of drinking from a natural water source).



 WILD THINGS is a new series on EDGE OF THE WILDWOOD we feature a new forest creature every week, so visit again soon!  Coming next:  raccoon



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