Jump to Content

About the Rodents & Lagomorphs in the Art

Rodents

Agouti image Photo by Alastair Rae

Agouti

Dasyprocta

These South American rodents look like long-legged guinea pigs. They are quite shy in the wild and live in wooded areas. Agouti have a wide diet, consisting of nuts, fruit, sugarcane, eggs, and even shellfish, and are also one of the few species able to open Brazil nuts without tools.

Capybara image Photo by Karoly Lorentey

Capybara

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

The largest living rodent! Capybaras are extremely social and live in large groups and have been known to communally raise young. They are also semiaquatic, able to hold their breath for 5 minutes and even sleep in the water.

Degu image Photo by Markus Nager

Degu

Octodon degus

Degus are highly social small rodents from Chile. They nest together, and are known to nurse each other's young. They have an extremely developed vocal range and are active during the day.

European Hamster image Photo by Katanski

European Hamster

Cricetus cricetus, aka Black-Bellied Hamster

These are the largest species of hamster, growing up to 14 inches long! They are recognized by their reddish fur and black bellies, but in Germany and neighboring countries there are populations that are almost entirely black (melanistic). They are not kept as pets due to their extremely aggressive behavior.

Ezo Flying Squirrel image Photo by Tokumi

Ezo Flying Squirrel

Pteromys volans orii

The Ezo flying squirrel changes from dark brown to gray and white in the winter. They are found from Finland to Korea, but are most notable in Hokkaidō, Japan. In folklore, they are known as At-kamui or "the Divine prolific one".

Gambian Pouched Rat image Photo by Louis Varley

Gambian Pouched Rat

Cricetomys gambianus, aka African Giant Pouched Rat

The largest rat species, reaching up to 3 feet long (including tail). Due to their highly developed sense of smell, these rats are trained in captivity to help detect land mines! They are able to sniff out the mines without setting them off due to them being too light of weight to trigger them. Learn more about the HeroRATs!

Grasshopper Mouse image Photo by Lauren Koenig

Grasshopper Mouse

Onychomys

This little mouse is carnivorous! They commonly eat insects, spiders, centipedes, scorpions, and snakes. They also have a natural immunity to many of their prey’s venoms. These mice howl to mark their territory.

Gundi image Photo by Oona Räisänen

Gundi

Ctenodactylus gundi, aka Comb Rat

Gundis vaguely resemble a guinea pig with no external ears. They make their homes in crevices or under large rocks. They actually don't need to drink water, and also don't tend to store food.

Harvest Mouse image Photo by Charlie Marshall

Harvest Mouse

Micromys minutus

This is the smallest species of mouse in Europe, measuring only 3 inches long. They have broad feet meant for climbing and a prehensile tail. This allows them to grip stems and leaves while leaving their front paws free.

Hopping Mouse image Photo by Boyd Essex

Hopping Mouse

Notomys

These small mice live in the sand dunes of Australia. Their large, furless ears help dissipate heat. Like many other desert dwelling animals, hopping mice do not need to drink water as their bodies can store water eaten from food.

J. monesi image Depiction by Gustavo Lecuona / Blanco

J. monesi

Josephoartigasia monesi

This is the largest rodent to have ever existed! They lived in what is now Uruguay during the Ice Age. They are estimated to have been around the size of a bison, and had a bite force that rivals modern crocodilians! Their closest living relative is the pacarana.

Jerboa image Photo by Mohammad Amin Ghaffari

Jerboa

Scarturus williamsi

Jerboas are well known for their long legs and tail. They are able to make quick turns and evade predators due to these. Jerboas are solitary and create their own burrows, but may group together on colder days.

Kangaroo Rat image Photo by US Fish & Wildlife

Kangaroo Rat

Dipodomys ordii

These tiny rodents make appearances around the western United States. As their name suggests, they have long back legs like a kangaroo, allowing them to leap a distance of 7 feet!

Malabar Squirrel image Photo by Vinod Bhattu

Malabar Squirrel

Ratufa indica, aka Indian Giant Squirrel

One of the largest species of squirrel, and certainly the most colorful! Each subspecies has a slightly different coloration. These squirrels typically live alone, and can jump up to 20 feet between trees.

Maned Rat image Photo by Sara Weinstein

Maned Rat

Lophiomys imhausi, aka African Crested Rat

Despite looking like a porcupine, the hairs on this rat aren’t actually sharp. They are, however, poisonous! The maned rat is the only poisonous rodent, taking and storing toxins from the "poison arrow tree".

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine image Photo by Tom Benson

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine

Coendou mexicanus, aka Mexican Tree Porcupine

This South American porcupine only grows to be 18 inches long with a 14 inch long tail. Their tail is prehensile, allowing them to climb trees easily. Their spines are bright yellow, but sometimes get obscured by their long fur.

Pacarana image Photo by Benjamin Frable

Pacarana

Dinomys branickii

Pacaranas are large rodents of north-western South America. They are slow-moving and have chunkier bodies than most rodents.

They are the sole living member of the family Dinomyidae, and are related to the largest rodent to ever exist: J. monesi.

South African Springhare image Photo by Bernard DUPONT

South African Springhare

Pedetes capensis

Springhares are not hares and resemble small kangaroos. Those long back legs allow them to leap more than 30 feet! Despite these large back legs, springhares are avid burrowers. They sleep standing up in their burrows with their body bent down between their legs.

Southern Viscacha image Photo by Alexandre Buisse

Southern Viscacha

Lagidium viscacia

Southern viscachas are relatives of chinchillas that live in the Andes mountains. Part of their days are spent sunbathing, grooming, and resting, so many photos of them show them as a very chill, sleepy animal.

Lagomorphs

Amami Rabbit image Photo by Takashi Muramatsu

Amami Rabbit

Pentalagus furnessi, aka Ryukyu Rabbit

This ancient rabbit only lives on two small islands of Japan. It has shorter features than other rabbits, but much longer claws and naturally dark fur. In 1921 Japan declared the Amami rabbit a natural monument.

American Pika image Photo by Frédéric Dulude-de Broin

American Pika

Ochotona princeps

Pikas are lagomorphs, related to rabbits and hares. They live in the mountains, usually around the tree lines in rocky terrain.

Due to warming temperatures, their population in the Rocky Mountains is being threatened. You can help keep track of their populations by reporting sightings of pikas to the Colorado Pika Project!

European Hare image Photo by Jean-Jacques Boujot

European Hare

Lepus europaeus

The European hare (also known as the brown hare) is the largest lagomorph. They can grow up to 30 inches long! Thanks to those long back legs, they are able to run at speeds over 40mph.

European Rabbit image Photo by JJ Harrison

European Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Found throughout Europe and Australia, this rabbit is mainly an invasive species. Areas with few predators even see melanistic rabbits thriving. All domesticated species of rabbits came from the European rabbit.

Pygmy Rabbit image Photo by J. Witham

Pygmy Rabbit

Brachylagus idahoensis

This is the smallest rabbit in the world, weighing less than a pound. They live almost exclusively on sagebrush, but with declining habitats the pygmy rabbit was at the brink of extinction in the early 2000s. Breeding efforts have helped, but they are still struggling despite conservation efforts.

Sumatran Striped Rabbit image Photo by Andrew Tilker

Sumatran Striped Rabbit

Nesolagus netscheri

This rare rabbit was only first photographed in 2000. Sightings are very rare as the dense rainforest cover and its nocturnal nature make it hard to find. It is one of only two rabbit species with stripes.