Rodents are the richest of the species diversity of a detachment of mammals. Their characteristic feature is large incisors on the upper and lower jaws. The lifestyle performed by the functions of various parts of the body, the habitat determine the appearance of various representatives of this detachment. The mass of rodents can be from five grams to several tens of kilograms.
Mammals of this detachment are found around the world. Where they were not there, rodents were brought specifically for various purposes. The exception is only the region of the Antarctic and some islands.
The family is hamster
The hammer family includes 134 kinds and is the largest in the number of species.
The dimensions of the body inside the family vary from 5 cm to 36 cm. Body weight also depends on a specific species and is on several grams to 3 kg. The tail can be an inconspicuous process of one species or be longer than the body in another. It is covered with wool or small scales. The legs of hamsters differ depending on the function performed: with membranes – for swimming, long rear – for movement with jumps, with large claws – for digging Nor.
Representatives of this family live almost everywhere: in North and South America, Eurasia and Africa.
The family is lead
Pig them live exclusively in South America in its most diverse climatic zones.
Representatives of this family have an elongated body, fourfingered front and threefingered hind limbs, short tail and neck, large head. The ears can be short, long or absent at all. The hairline is usually rough. Wool on the back of brown, gray, black or olive shades. Light belly: color from white to dark yellow. Some species lead a night lifestyle, other daytime. In this case, none of them hibernate.
5 genera is distinguished in the family, which are represented by 15 types.
Abyssinian guinea pig
Peruvian guinea pig
The mouse family
The mouse family includes 147 genera consisting of more than 700 species. They live everywhere, do not meet only in Antarctica.
The dimensions of the family representatives are from 5 to 48 cm. They have long, covered with scales and rare hairs, tails. The colors of the wool are most diverse: white, gray, beige, brown, black, etc.
The rodents of this family show activity at night and at dusk. Are omnivorous and herbivore. Have a high ability to reproduce, but in conditions of food deficiency, the population is quickly reduced. Mouse breed several times a year in the warm time.
The family is included in 5 subframes containing approximately 230 species. The most famous are protein and gopher.
The rodents of this family are widespread on all continents with the exception of Australia and Antarctica. A number of Arctic and tropical islands are also not inhabited by squirrels.
These rodents can be small and large. Body length varies within 6-70 cm. The mass is from several grams to 9 kg. The long tail has a wool cover. Belishchi has strong developed limbs, big eyes. The color of the hairline can have strips, spots or be singlecolor: red, black, white, etc.D.
The family is hedgehog
The species composition of this family is not the largest. However, it is known about 24 different types.
All the hedgehogs have a number of uniting them into one family of signs. These include a pointed elongated muzzle, perfectly developed eyes and ears, limbs with five fingers. A distinctive feature of the family is the skin with many needles interspersed with wool hairs. These rodents also have a special muscle passing through the whole body. She helps the animal to turn into a ball, fleeing from predators.
Habitat of hedgehogs — This is Central and South Asia, Europe. Once they were brought to the islands near Africa, where they spread safely.
The hedgehog of the forest
The family is blind
Sleeps — grumbling animals that are adapted to life underground. The family is divided into three subfamily, which includes more than 30 types of rodents.
The characteristic features of the animals of this family are halfblind eyes, underdeveloped ears, short thick fur, short limbs. In length, the body of various species can be from 0.13 to 0.48 m, and weigh from 100 g to 4 kg. Some species have powerful incisors that dig ground. Other rodents use front paws for this.
Slovyshovs live in Europe, Asia, in northeast Africa. Are also found on Russian territory.
Small bamboo rat
The family is carcass
These rodents live in deserted, semidesert, steppe, low mountain regions. They populated the north of Africa, some parts of Europe, Asia, Kazakhstan, the south of Siberia and others.
These mammals have a short body, elongated hind legs, short front limbs with which they remove the ground dug by incisors. The size of these rodents is 4-25 cm, the mass is not more than 300 g. All species have a very long tail, which serves them with a steering wheel and a balancer when running. These animals have a short neck, a large head, rounded long ears and a plain skin of beige-brown shades.
Tushkanchiki with rare exceptions lead a night lifestyle. They dig holes, feed on plants, insects and bring offspring one to three times a year.
The family is sandy
Sandy — Little rodents similar to mice. In length, they can reach 20 cm depending on the type. Their mass from 10 to 225 grams. These animals have a long tail, rather large eyes, sticking ears. The color of their wool is unreleased: the back is sandy or brown, and the abdomen is light.
The habitats of these rodents are deserted, semidesert, steppe areas. They are widespread in Central Asia, Kazakhstan, as well as in Africa. In the smallest quantities are found in the Caspian region and the territory of Transbaikalia.
The structure and appearance of the rodents
The main part of the rodents has relatively small sizes. But among them there are small and large animals: from a dwarf mouse weighing 7 g and a length of 3 cm to a ninetykilogram capybara, reaching up to 130 cm in length. Rodents usually have such a long tail that it can be twice as long as the body, or even three times. But for many lead representatives, this body may be completely absent. Animals of this detachment can have a different body shape. It depends on which lifestyle is inherent in a particular genus. For example, those who have to move a lot from place to place, sometimes even jumps, hind limbs in the process of evolution have become much longer than the front. This applies to carcasses and squirrels. Who needs to dig holes for shelter and search for food, you need strong front paws with powerful claws and a rounded body shape.
The front incisors of rodents are enlarged, separated from chewing teeth with diastem. Have the ability to selfensure. Also, rodents have no fangs at all. The skeleton of mammals is represented by a spine with 30 main vertebrae and individual number of tails, four limbs, a massive skull, large eye sockets. The number and size of the bones depend on a particular representative.
The body of the rodents is covered with hair, usually equal to length and not very catchy coloring. Some of them have hairs formed in needles (hedgehog family). On the front part of the animals there are vibrissas that perform the function of touching.
Characteristic and features
Rodents arose on the planet more than 60 million years ago and since then have greatly evolved. Some species developed and changed, others completely disappeared.
Representatives of the rodent detachment inhabit the most diverse climatic zones, live in warm and cold, wet and arid places, near reservoirs and in the depths of forests, on plains and in mountainous areas. They live on earth, underground, on trees, in swamps. And individual species have mastered even airspace, for example, a-leteag.
Different rodents show vital activity either at night and twilight, or in the daytime.
These mammals can exist in groups with different number of individuals or be single. Their brain of rather large sizes and does not have a belief on its surface. Smart animals are quite smart, can perform the simplest actions, they have their own language for communication.
Welldeveloped senses that are responsible for tactile sensations, hearing and smell make rodents in time recognize the danger and avoid it, communicate with their own kind, find food and everything necessary for existence.
The rodents have an elongated intestine. This is due to the use of food mainly of plant origin.
Nutrition of rodents
The basis of the nutrition of these mammals is plant food. They eat leaves, shoots, seeds, berries, bite twigs, bark, etc.P. But not all rodents are only herbivorous. There are also omnivorous among them, which, along with roots and herbs, eat insects, snails, worms, bird eggs, small vertebrates (for example, lizards). Views living near the water can eat fish, mollusks and various crustaceans.
A significant part of their life animals are engaged in getting food. Separate representatives, mainly among hamsters, squirrels and mouse, stock up food for the winter in burrows, hollows.
Diet nutrition of rodents depends on the seasonality of the year. In summer, food is diverse and includes seeds, parts of plants, insects, etc.D. In the fall, berries, fruits and root crops. In winter, wood, bark and roots. In the spring, the first young sprouts and leaves begin to grow, which are needed for the growth and development of the body.
The weather also affects the features of the diet. In the heat, rodents get food into night, cooler, time. When the daily temperature subsides, they become active and in daylight hours. The weather, age, place in the hierarchy (for social species) also influence food behavior.
Propagation of rodents
Animals of this detachment are very fertile. Females of small species can carry several litters per year: from two to five. Moreover, in each litter, there are usually several cubs at once. The amount varies from 5 to 15 pieces. And larger representatives of the detachment give birth once a year and no more than three cubs.
Some species give birth to poorly developed cubs, which require longterm care. And there are such animals that, after birth, are almost immediately ready to move independently.
Not only the number of annual litters, but also the duration of pregnancy vary greatly among the types. In small animals, it is short – Only 18-20 days. And the larger the animal, the longer the pregnancy lasts longer. Ondaters, for example, are in a position for about 30 days, and nutria and capybras for more than four months.
The population depends on many environmental factors. In conditions of lack of food, it is reduced, and vice versa. With an excessive increase in the population, some animals are even forced to migrate from the rapid territories in search of new habitats.
The value of rodents in human life
The meaning of rodents in human life is huge. Some of them are a source of valuable furs, for example, ondatra. Others are objects of fishing due to meat and fat. On laboratory rodents, experiments on the study of diseases, drugs and other chemicals are set up.
The rodents carry plant seeds, and the underground inhabitants also loosen the earth, enriching it with oxygen and giving water to penetrate the earth. They are hunted by predatory mammals. All this ultimately benefits a person.
There is from rodents and significant harm. They are carriers of various bacterial and viral infections, parasites and fungi. More rodents are harmful to the rural and households, eating, infecting food and spoiling things. Therefore, a person, in order to protect himself and his property, regulates the number of synanthropes using traps and pesticides.
Representatives of the rodent detachment adapt well to changes in external conditions of existence. This makes it possible to tame them. Some species have long become familiar home animals. People start in their own types of rats, guinea pigs, hamsters and others.
Rodents — intermediate component of food chains, which transforms the biological mass of plants and animal. Their irrational extermination is harmful to natural ecosystems. Therefore, they, as part of nature suffering from the consequences of human activity, need to be preserved and protecting.