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rodents form the largest group within mammals, almost forty percent of all mammals belong to the rodents. The majority of rodents live mainly in the wild, but there are also quite a few species that have been domesticated to some extent over the years and kept as pets by humans. All rodents are mammals, but how do you know if a mammal is really a rodent? Read more…

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How do you recognize a rodent? That is quite difficult, because there are no fewer than 1800 different types of rodents in all shapes and sizes. In general, rodents are quite small, but there are also very large rodents. The largest rodent is the Capybara from South America, which can weigh up to 70kg! The smallest rodent in Europe is the dwarf mouse, it weighs only 11 grams.

Nevertheless, there are a number of characteristics that can indicate that an animal is a rodent, namely:

  • Most wild rodents sleep during the day and are mainly active at night or at dusk. This is because the predators are less present at those times. During the day the predators are most active and there is a higher chance that you will end up as a rodent as a tasty snack. Despite the fact that our house rodents no longer have natural enemies, the rhythm remains as a nocturnal animal, this is anchored in their DNA. However, not all rodents are nocturnal. The guinea pig, for example, like various squirrel species, is mainly active during the day. And then there are also rodents that are not particularly active day or night. They are often asleep for a while, then awake for an hour and then go for a nap again. This way of life is characteristic of, for example, the Gerbil and the Russian dwarf hamster.
  • Rodents reproduce at lightning speed. This is necessary, because unfortunately rodents do not live that long. The smaller the animal, the sooner they die. This is primarily because they are on the menu of a lot of other animals, but also because the heart of small animals has to work harder than that of larger animals, so that it wears out faster. By reproducing a lot and quickly, they ensure that their species does not die out. Most rodents grow up quickly and are already sexually mature the moment they leave the nest and females can often become pregnant again the day after giving birth.
  • The most important characteristic of a rodent is their special teeth. They have four large chisel-like incisors. Two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. These teeth have a hard yellow/orange enamel layer on the front and continue to grow for life. Because the teeth are moved over each other during gnawing, they wear down and remain sharp at the same time.




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