The groundhog is the animal which belongs to family sciuridae and this is the largest animal of its order. The typical measurements of the groundhogs are in the range of 40 cm being the smallest size and 65 cm being the largest size. This size also includes their tail length. The weight of this animals ranges between 2 and 4 kilograms. However if the animal is allowed to live in such an area where there are no or very few predators and there is plenty of alfalfa grass which is their staple diet, then the groundhogs can flourish well and their size and weight can increase tremendously. Their size can reach up to 80 cm and weight can also reach up to 14 kg. There are many common names of the groundhog. It is also commonly known as the woodchuck because it is fond of scratching and scampering on wood. It also sometimes feeds on soft woody parts of the plants but the staple diet of groundhog is alfalfa plant. It is also known by the common name of whistle pig in some parts of the world. The closest relative of the ground hogs are the large ground squirrels and they are also known as marmots due to their resemblance with squirrels.
There are many names of the groundhogs and these are due to the characteristics and features of the animal. It is referred to as chuck and woodchuck in some areas. Some people also call it the Canada marmot and some other still call it the thick wood badger. The young groundhogs are called as the chuckling. The habitats of the groundhogs also vary but there is not much variation. For example most of the groundhogs are lowland creatures but the hoary marmots and yellow bellied marmots live in the mountainous areas. The animal is widely distributed in the North American continent, Canada and central parts of the United States.
General adaptations of groundhogs
Groundhogs have got powerful limbs and their claws are not only thick but curved in a specific fashion so as to adapt to the activity of digging the ground. The spine of the groundhog is not straight and it is curved like that of a mole. The tail of the animal is shorter as compared to its body. The tail comprises of about the one fourth of the total length of the body.
How big do groundhogs get?
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