A Groundhog, closely related to the ground squirrel and the gopher, is a rodent that has different subspecies, and is widely distributed in different parts of North America.

Scientific Name Marmota monax

Classification – Marmota

Gender Names – Male – male; Female – female; Baby – chuckling

Collective Noun – Phil

Length/Size – 40 to 65 cm (16 to 26 in) (including tail)

Weight – 2 to 4 kg (4 to 9 lb)

Top Speed – 16 kph (9.94 mph)

Life Expectancy – 6-8 years; up to 14 in captivity

Mating Season  Begins in mid-February

Gestation Period – 31-33 days

Special Features  When frightened, the tail hairs stand straight up, and the tail resembles a hair brush

Social Structure – Mostly solitary except for when they form a family group including female and young

Geographical Distribution – Common in the northeastern and central United States and Canada, extending north up to Alaska, and southeast up to Georgia

Natural Habitat – Inside burrows in areas with long to semi-long vegetation

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Diet – Mostly herbivorous, preferring grass, leaves and berries, but also grubs, grasshoppers, insects, snails and other small animals at times

Predators – Wolves, coyotes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, and owls