Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Rodents

Nearly 40% of mammal species are rodents, and they are found on every continent except Antarctica. Rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks and beavers, among others.

Featured
Why do beavers build dams?

Environmentalists agree that beaver dams help the environment by creating wetlands but why are some landowners and farm owners getting riled up? How could these dams be hazardous to roads, bridges and levees?


Rats Are Little Geniuses

Despite our best efforts at eradicating them, rats keep outsmarting us. Here's how. See more »

Naked Mole Rats Survive Without Oxygen by Turning Into Plants

Deprived of oxygen, naked mole rats can alter their metabolic functions to something less mammalian and more plantlike, burning fructose instead of glucose. See more »

These Arctic Squirrels Repeat Puberty Every Year of Their Lives

It's like the movie "Groundhog Day" every April, but with hibernation, a smaller rodent and way more hormones. See more »

5 Things You Didn't Know About Squirrels

If you look outside your window right now, you'll probably see one running up a tree or checking you out. How did the squirrel get so commonplace? See more »

Madagascar's Most Famous Species Is Near Extinction

Ring-tailed lemurs — perhaps the most iconic species on the tropical island of Madagascar — are in significant decline due to habitat loss, hunting and illegal capture. See more »

Rats Are Ticklish Just Like Humans, New Study Shows

They're dirty, hairy, mangy-looking creatures — and they giggle and squirm when tickled, just like us. See more »

Goodbye, Melomys: Climate Change Claims Its First Mammal Species

Rising sea levels wiped out the entire population of a rodent species only found on remote Australian island Bramble Cay. Who's next? See more »

To Save the Galapagos Islands, We May Need to Modify Rat DNA

The population-control strategy to rid the islands of the invasive species would use something called "gene driving" and GMO rodents. See more »

Prairie Dogs Savagely Kill Squirrels to Eliminate the Competition

Prairie dogs are cute little vegetarians … who have no problem casually snapping the neck of a ground squirrel. And those that kill have another sexy benefit, too. See more »

'Off Switch' for Appetite Accidentally Discovered in Brain Enzyme

Researchers at Johns Hopkins have stumbled upon a previously unknown type of brain cell that tells mice when to stop eating. Could that work for humans? See more »