The groundhog has become one of the most popularly recognized animals in all of North America. Because of the myths surrounding these animals and their ability to predict when winter will be coming, most see the groundhog as acute part of the North American landscape.
The groundhog, also known as a wood chuck or a whistlepig, is a kind of rodent that also belongs to the same family of animals as rats, squirrels, and mice. While a groundhog seems in no way to be the same kind of animal as a squirrel or a rat, they are classified within the same family of animals for good reason. There are a large enough number of similarities between this species of animal and others within the rodent family to make it so that its taxonomy falls right in line with that of the mouse or the squirrel.
If you have ever seen a groundhog on television or in person, usually displayed during Groundhog’s Day, then you are aware that these animals can become quite large. It is one of the things that makes it so peculiar that they would fit in the same family of animals as a mouse or a chipmunk. This may make you wonder how large a groundhog can actually get.
The typical groundhog ranges from about 16 inches in length up to as much as 26. Between 4 inches and 6 inches of that length is the tale itself. This makes this rather large animal, exceeding more than 2 feet in length.
In areas where there are a high abundance of alfalfa or other kinds of grass roots that the groundhog likes to eat, and where there are a small number of predators that will consume the groundhog for food, this animal can get as big as nearly 3 feet in length. This shows that in increase in its diet and a decrease in predators provide the optimal condition for the animal to continue to grow.
Most groundhogs weigh somewhere between four and nine pounds. For the animal living in optimal conditions the groundhog can grow to be as much is 31 pounds.
For those watching Groundhog’s Day ceremonies you have probably seen these animals grow to be quite large. While they are not technically living in captivity, the reason that these animals are able to grow to be so large is because they are widely protected by the people in the area who see these woodchucks as a kind of important treasure to be cared for.
The groundhog winds up being one of the largest animals with in the rodent family, significantly larger than most of the other species that we are accustomed to associating with other rodents.
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