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New World mice and woodrats, voles, hamsters, and their relatives


The family that includes New World mice and woodrats, voles, hamsters, and their relatives is one of the most diverse mammal families in the world. There are about 681 species in this family, making up about 17% of all living mammals! This family is also very widespread, with species that are native to North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Most members of this family look more or less mouse-like or rat-like, although voles, lemmings, and hamsters lack the long tails that are characteristic of other rodent groups. These rodents live in all kind of habitats, eat many kinds of foods, and have many kinds of social systems. They are diverse in their lifestyles as well as in numbers.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Cricetidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 22, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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