SMALL ANIMALS

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Woodchuck

Description:

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck. Burrowing animal, the woodchuck is endowed with strong legs and sturdy claws strong. She digs especially with the front paws, armed with four claws especially developed, while the hind feet have five claws ordinary. To escape her enemies, she dives into its burrow, probably because of its speed which is only 15 km/h.

 

Food:

The woodchuck likes the fresh vegetation and consumes a wide variety of wild plants, clover and alfalfa and vegetables when she finds. On rare occasions, it eats snails, insects or nestlings found it by accident. In early spring they eat bark and twigs of shrubs.

 

Habits:

The woodchuck tries to avoid wet or swampy areas. It prefers open areas like fields, meadows, open forests and rocky slopes. She usually digs its burrows in terrain where it can feed on abundant grasses and other plants short. It generally avoids wet or swampy places.

 

Reproduction:


The young are born in April or May (in Canada, primarily in May) after a gestation (pregnancy) of 30 days. The groundhog has one litter per year, with an average of four small. Blind and helpless at birth, the cubs are about 10 cm in length and weigh about 30 g. After 28 days, open their eyes and their body is covered with short hair. They are weaned (they forsake breast milk with other foods) to five to six weeks and then begin to leave the burrow. The growth is so fast that they weigh 570 g after eight weeks and become very fat for hibernation. Some woodchucks live up to ten years, but their average lifespan is probably much less than that number.

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