The word Rodent has derived from the Latin word rodere which means ``to gnaw”. Rodent (order Rodentia). Rodents are mammals with more than 2,050 species and rodents can be found everywhere, they are extremely diverse. They can adapt to any environment and lifestyle, even a man-made environment. Rodents are the largest group of mammals. Not only that they constitute about half of the mammalian species. The majority of non-flying mammals are rodents. Rodent animals not only include mice but also rats, squirrels, porcupines, guinea pigs, hamsters, and beavers, etc. Three main categories of rodents are mice, squirrels, and cavy-like rodents. They use their sharp incisors to excavate burrows and defend themselves. Most of them are herbivorous; they feed on plant material and seeds they don't have any canine teeth their incisors grow throughout their life. Rodents lower classification includes Hamsters, Chinchilla, Capybara, Weaver Mongolian gerbil, Rat Agouti, Lowland Paca, Tuco-tuco, and red-crested tree-rat. Rodent family is a very diverse family of animals, it includes porcupines, marmots, pocket gophers, etc. Rodent species of animals are generally characterized by pairs of ever-growing rootless incisors. Most of the features of rodent animals are similar.
[Image will be Uploaded Soon]
General Characteristics of Rodents
Rodents are typically small animals including rats, mice, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, and many more. Their average lifespan is between four to eight years, though Black rats have the shortest lifespan of about 12months while Common degu has the longest lifespan among the Rodents which is about six to eight years. Pygmy jerboa is the tiniest rodent whereas Capybara is the largest living rodent. They arrived in Australia through Indonesia about 5 million years ago. Rodents are a group of mammals consisting of large front teeth which are also known as Incisors. They have a single pair of incisors which are chisel-shaped. As the word Rodent is Latin in origin which means to gnaw, they use their teeth for gnawing to get at food. Rodents are small animals that have sharp teeth and claws which they use for defense. Though they are small animals they prey on larger animals. They are very swift and have a sharp sense which helps them in danger.
Types of Rodents
Rodent species are mostly found everywhere in all six continents except Antarctica. As they have survival instincts they are found both in wild and man-made environments.
Rats are generally long-tailed rodents with prominent large eyes. In India brown rats are very common so it is also known as common rats. Brown rats(also known as Norway rats ) have small ears, a blunt nose, and have a thicker body compared to other black rats. They usually eat around 30gms of food. Rats are the rodents of the superfamily Muroids. Though the genus Ratta of the rats is considered as “true rats”. Packrats (genus -Neotoma), bandicoot rats (genus -Bandicota), and kangaroo rats(genus-Dipodomys) are examples of rats with other genera.
Especially in the western hemisphere Hamsters are most commonly kept as pets. The sub-family of Hamsters is Cricentinea. Hamsters contain 19 species classified into seven genera. Golden hamsters or Syrian hamsters are considered the best species. The lifespan of Chinese Hamsters is about two to three years and their height is about 8.2 to 12 cm. Syrians are the largest species found, their length is about 5 to 7 inches.
African pygmy has a lifespan of two years whereas Pachyuromys duprasi has five to seven years. Because they are mammals, and also because they share a high degree of homology with humans, mice are common experimental animals in laboratory research of biology and psychology fields primarily. When observed virtually all mouse genes have human homologs and the mouse genome has been sequenced quite a few times. Mice have always served as a staple in the diet of many small carnivores like cats and snakes alike. Humans have eaten mice since prehistoric times. During Victorian Britain times, fried mice were given to children and served as a folk remedy for bed-wetting. Throughout eastern Zambia and northern Malawi, mice are considered a delicacy where they serve as a seasonal source of protein.
Rodents, especially rats and mice, will play a major role in biomedical research. They are usually scavengers. Rodents can carry many diseases like hantavirus, leptospirosis, and lymphocytic. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome causes severe illness. Washington every year reports about 1 to 5 Hantavirus cases. Plague is another serious disease which was led by Rodents like mice and rats. Bubonic plague was spread by rats to humans. The red-crested tree rat or Santa Marta toro is a type of tree rat. Is santamartamys and the family is Echimydae. It measures between (51 to 122 )cm. Rodents are serious pets of plantation crops and fodder Bandicota bengalensis cause serious trouble to farmers as they destroy a large number of crops and fields. ‘ Millardia melted in dryland areas. Though Rodents like hamsters and Guinea pigs are kept in homes as pets.
Did You Know
Rodents reproduce crazily. What animals are Rodents? Rodents are small size animals with long chisel-shaped incisors. Rats and mice are prolific during reproduction. Mice generally have 5-6 babies. Whereas rats can produce litter 15 times every year Rodents usually don't leave long. Some Rodents can even swim, for example, mice and rats can tread in water for up to 3 days. They even can survive after being flushed in the toilet. The most interesting fact about Rodents is that they cannot throw up or burp. In between their esophagus and stomach, they have a powerful barrier that prevents them from vomiting. However, Rodents are interesting. No one wants this type of creature at home.