Animals -> Mammals -> Rodents


There are more species of rodents than any other mammal group, but their generally small size means most are not important traditional food species. However, many larger rodents, including beavers, porcupines, muskrats, marmots and squirrels, are abundant and reliable food sources for many cultures. Beaver and muskrats are discussed in the furbearer section, but other rodents that are valued more as food than for their fur are described below.

Rodents, or gnawing mammals, are the most numerous and diverse mammalian group with around 2,000 species. Rodents include large species like beaver and porcupine, but most species are small, like mice and voles. All rodents have single pairs of large upper and lower chisel-like incisors that are ever-growing and used extensively for gnawing. Although beaver and muskrat are rodents, they are described in the Mammal/Furbearers section.


Forsyth A: Mammals of North America: Temperate and arctic regions. Willowdale, ON: Firefly Books; 1999.