Rodents are small animals which are classified as mammals.
They are called rodents due to their long front teeth which are fit for strong bite.
Also interestingly most of them are active at nights so they are also considered nocturnal animals. But not all nocturnal animals are rodents.
They are generally mild animals which means they do not attack other animals or feed on for living.
They are herbivores and mostly feed on grass or other vegetarians grains and nuts. But they act as prey to many wild animals and other carnivores.
In fact they form the largest class of mammals. They are very large in number and present in most parts of the world.
Types of rodents
1. Rats: Rats are different sized rodents which have long tail. They vary in colors like brown, black and even plain white rats.
They are some of the robust and tough animals. They can sustain harsh conditions and live in small burrows. They are common rodents which affect human home life. They tend to destroy the stored food grains and even are cause for spread of dreadful diseases like rabies.
Their weight varies from 50 gram to 500gms. They widely used in in pharmacological studies and in drug development process research due to their robust characters. They tolerate harsh pains and surgical procedures. Further their physiology is comparable to humans. So their use is very common in new drug development.
2. Mice: They are quite similar to rats and on might easily confuse them to baby rats. They are 10 times smaller than rats and quite active than rats.
They can run and jump swiftly. They are also common home rodents which destroy the stored food grains. They also live in burrows in soil or in human areas.
Both rats and mice are not easy to catch and hold. They can bite the objects are even hands. So one should be careful while handling them.
3. Squirrels: These are cute rodents which are quite shy. They tend to run away at the slightest sound of animals or humans. They mostly tend to live on trees.
They are so mild animals that they can rarely harm others and are even weak to defend themselves. Unlike rats and mice, they are less problematic to humans. They do not like to stay in human residences.
4. Guinea pigs: Another very mild and shy rodents are guinea pigs. They can be easily grown as even pets due to their sensitiveness and gentle behavior.
They are pure vegetarians and rely mostly on grass. Also they are very poor defenders against predators. But like rats and mice, they are widely used in drug research processes. Even its meat is consumed by humans in few countries.
5. Porcupines. These are quite interesting rodents. Unlike others, they are strictly nocturnal.
They have powerful defense which can scare even wild animals. They have sharp spines which can prick the predators. These spines are natural skin hair which is modified for its defense. In normal states, these spines are laid down. But when the animal senses danger, the spines get erect which can cause severe pain on prick.
6. Hamsters: Hamsters are similar to rats or mice in appearances with exception of long tail.
They are easy to rear and used as common pets by humans. They eat seeds, fruits and also few insects. They are nocturnal animals and during day time they keep hiding in the burrows.
7. Marmot: By physical appearance, these rodents look like giant squirrels.
But unlike the squirrels, they live in burrows in the soil.
8. Prairie dogs: These rodents are found only in American continent. As the name indicates, they look small dog pups.
Even their sound resembles dogs. They primarily feed on grass, seeds and few insects. They can be grown as pets.