There are other Native American words that sound similar to “wuchak,” and it’s possible that “woodchuck” is a combination of all of them. That makes them the largest member of the squirrel family. The groundhog has starred in a handful of movies and it can help predict the severity of the winter. By . Groundhogs generally live off green plants and eat parts of flowers, seeds, stems and consume berries as well. (Eds.). Groundhogs, like most pets and people, are active during the day and retreat to their burrows for a good night’s sleep. The groundhog is also referred to as a chuck, wood-shock, groundpig, whistlepig, whistler, thickwood badger, Canada marmot, monax, moonack, weenusk, r 4. Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks or “whistle-pigs.” The familiar name woodchuck actually has nothing to do with wood, and stems from the Native American names for them: wuchak, wejack, and possibly otchek, which is a name for fishers. See below: The Eastern groundhog is scientifically known as the Marmota monax. After losing up to half their weight while hibernating, groundhogs usually emerge from their winter burrows in February—hence the date of this holiday. They weigh around 13 lbs. Luckily for me, Vito isn’t the biggest pest in my life. JHU Press. Groundhog families disperse in the fall, and the young reach sexual maturity by two years. Groundhogs ist eine britische Rockband um Tony McPhee, die 1963 in London gegründet wurde und Anfang der 1970er Jahre ihre Hochphase hatte. This website primarily references personal learning experiences. Groundhogs are considered a nuisance pest because they can cause extensive damage to home gardens, farms, orchards and field crops as a result of their feeding and burrowing habits. You’ll likely catch a glimpse of them, and then watch them scurry off once you get closer to them. While they’re not found much in the Western part of the United States, you can find the groundhog’s close cousins: the prairie dog and the alpine marmot. The name “woodchuck” comes from the Native American word for “digger,” which is “wuchak.” Groundhogs go by many other names, including whistle-pig, thickwood badger, and Canada marmot. Sony Pictures. In Laboratory Animal Medicine (pp. However, they’re not picky and will devour most produce if it’s available. Like woodchucks, they dig elaborate tunnels in order to avoid being out in the open and spend most of their time underground. If it is your spirit animal, then you certainly enjoy studying. The name “woodchuck” comes mostly from the Native American word “Wuchak,” which means, roughly, “digger.” The word developed into the name as we know it, and the names are used interchangeably, even in scientific reports on the groundhog/woodchuck. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference (Vol. However, this doesn’t stop thousands of people from tuning in from across the country each year to watch Phil make his annual prediction. What does groundhog mean? The Laboratory Woodchuck (Marmota monax). Groundhogs, meanwhile, are members of the Sciuridae (meaning shadow-tail) family and belong to the genus Marmota. (However, baby groundhogs sometimes do fall prey to raptors such as hawks, owls, and eagles.). Though his handlers claim that Phil is the same groundhog as in 1887, groundhogs only live for 6 to 8 years. Meaning of groundhog. Groundhogs can be very aggressive and you need to make sure that they stay away from your house, yard or farm. Since you might be wondering, NO woodchucks can’t actually chuck wood. (2005). das Waldmurmeltier (Marmota monax); Erroll „Groundhog“ Grandy (1921–1991), US-amerikanischer Jazz-Organist und Musikpädagoge; Diese Seite wurde zuletzt am 29. The name “groundhog” is misleading since they definitely are not in the hog family. They are a species of marmot, which some refer to as ground squirrels. Bellezza, C. A., Sexton, S., Curtin, L. I., Concannon, P. W., Baldwin, B. H., Graham, L. A., … & Tennant, B. C. (2015). Since groundhogs are such avid diggers, they are often despised by farmers who dislike having tunnels in their fields that pose a risk to livestock and foundations of houses. 351-386). If it sees its shadow on this day, there will be … Information and translations of groundhogs in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. Tree-climbing and insect-eating woodchucks. Groundhog definition is - woodchuck. The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Though they are typically herbivores, they will sometimes eat baby birds or insects. The females give birth in April or May and have a typical litter of two to six pups! They are found in forests, lakes, and ponds all over North America, Asia, and Europe. 3. We have already mentioned that the groundhog spirit animal will make you think a lot about life cycles. 9 Scents That Raccoons Hate (and How to Use Them). While the groundhog will occasionally snack on a grub or other smallish insect, for the most part they rely on … Groundhog Day, que literalmente significa el día de la marmota, es una simpática tradición estadounidense, según la cual se puede predecir la duración del invierno por la observación del comportamiento de este animal. While beavers do look similar to woodchucks, the real confusion comes from the name. Here are five takeaways from Whittier as we look forward to Groundhog Day: 1. Masked bandit raccoons are nocturnal mammals that go out at night, looking for food. Groundhogs are actually large members of the squirrel family, being generally peaceful and gentle creatures, only becoming aggressive if cornered or threatened, especially by a barking attacking dog. Recent Examples on the Web Tradition says that if a groundhog emerges from its hole on Feb. 2 and sees its shadow, six more weeks of winter will follow. Additionally, their habits of eating crops, such as alfalfa, wheat, or produce, meaning that they’re not a welcome sight on farms. Groundhogs are probably most known for their burrowing abilities and this is why they often associated groundhogs with death and resurrection. Beavers are also typically much larger than groundhogs and can weigh up to 60 pounds (27.2 kg). 2. This guy right next to me? Many of the brown, rodent-like animals that are commonly found in North America may seem the same – beavers, groundhogs, and prairie dogs all exhibit similar behavior. However, most people refer to the animals that live up in the mountains as “alpine marmots,” and those who live closer to sea level as “groundhogs.”. groundhog definition: 1. a woodchuck 2. a woodchuck 3. a small North American mammal with short legs and rough, red-brown…. Groundhogs also h… Aside from the confusion of groundhog vs. woodchuck, there are a few other similar-looking and acting animals to groundhogs. While many Americans would recognize famed Punxsutawney Phil as a groundhog, they may not know much else about the species. Capable of weighing up to 15 pounds, groundhogs are among the largest members of the squirrel family Sciuridae and within the taxonomic tribe of marmots or ground squirrels—a group that also includes chipmunks and prairie dogs. Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. The name whistle-pig, which is most common in Appalachia, stems from groundhogs’ habit of making a high-pitched whistling sound, usually as a warning to other groundhogs when they feel threatened. They surround Phil and call out whether he has seen his shadow or not. Their "charges" toward a dog are mostly attempts to bluff the aggressor, but, they can inflict deep painful bites if physically attacked (so can squirrels, by the way). Excluding woodchucks from the garden will also keep out deer, rabbits, raccoons, and stray pets. I have seen dogs with chunks taken out of their nose by groundhogs simply because the dog smelled it out and started rooting into the den when Mr. Groundhog happened to be home. Tom Herbert. When the groundhog comes out, he is surrounded by handlers, called his “Inner Circle,” who wear distinctive uniforms of top hats and tuxedos. Like many animals in nature, these pups over time, ween off the care of their mother. Young groundhogs are called kits, pups, or sometimes chucklings. They are actually large squirrels. Learn more. This name was thought to originally be spaced into two words (groundhog) since it roots through the ground, and “hog” was used not to mean swine, but rather just “animal.” They can do a lot of damage for your properties and they can cost you a lot of money. Life cycles. The American badger has a squat body, with a characteristic white stripe down its triangle-shaped nose. Instead, groundhogs are related to the squirrel family, known as Sciuridae, which also includes prairie dogs and chipmunks. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site. Groundhogs are very wary, and will dive back into their sette when possible danger approaches, but if cornered, they will aggressively defend themselves with their huge incisors and razor sharp claws. Foods of the hoary marmot on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. Tufts Now, 80 George St., Medford, Massachusetts 02155, Chris Whittier, V97, research assistant professor of conservation medicine at Cummings School, shares the dirt on these important enormous, whistling, burrowing squirrels, An adult female woodchuck basking in the sun in a yard in Grafton, Massachusetts. UPDATE: Resources and information on COVID-19 testing and more. Hansen, R. M. (1975). On average, groundhogs measure 1 to 2.5 feet long and weigh 7 to 13 pounds, although they can potentially grow to be 24 inches (3 feet) long and weigh as much as 30 pounds when in an area with few predators. Before hibernation, a groundhog will eat continually to preserve fat, since they lose a large portion of their body fat while hibernating. Meaning of groundhogs. Most people assume, perhaps due to the common tongue-twister “how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood,” or just from the name, that woodchucks chew on trees. You can read an article we wrote (yes, we really did) about that here. It is known that the most famous groundhog on February 2nd is Groundhog Phil, who lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhogs are closely related to squirrels, which are rodents. Groundhogs are large rodents. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are found all over central and eastern US. Groundhogs and woodchucks are the same animal – a short-legged, brown mammal that digs complex tunnels and chows down on plants. Do Groundhogs Symbolise Good Luck? The classified order, which is broader than the family, is Rodentia, which, as the name suggests, includes rodents and like-rodent species. After losing up to half their weight while hibernating, groundhogs usually emerge from their winter burrows in February—hence the date of this holiday. in the US, February 2nd, which according to an old story, is the day the groundhog wakes up after sleeping through the winter. These burrows are not only potentially helpful to soils for aeration and nutrient recycling, but they are often used by other burrowing animals such as foxes, opossums, raccoons, and skunks. Aside from when mothers raise offspring, from birth to about two months of age, groundhogs are solitary animals. Honestly, you’ll see them quite frequently while walking in a park. Groundhogs are not one-nomer animals- depending on where you live, you may know the large rodent-like animal as one of a few different nicknames. Most of the time groundhogs dig … But it is not. Nevertheless, a lot of people are not fully familiar with groundhogs, their habitats, or their diets. Groundhogs are also known as “woodchucks,” where the name is thought to be derived from the phrases that Native Americans had for woodchucks by the original settlers that came to America. Nine years are unaccounted for. Groundhogs are found in the majority of central and eastern United States, as well as in parts of Alaska and Canada. Asked february 4, 2019, 3:23 pm est. Juni 2016 um 19:08 Uhr bearbeitet. But they also may eat things we consider pests, such as grubs, other insects, and snails. Please consult a pest control professional before applying any tactics from pestpointers.com. link to How Do Stink Bugs Get Into Your House? Known as an "edge" species, groundhogs prefer transitional areas where forest or woodland meets a well-vegetated open field or meadow. When it comes to their size, they can reach up to 24 inches long, weighing as must as 13 pounds. This site is owned and operated by Pest Pointers LLC | pestpointers.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. It was actually imported from a German tradition that bases forecasting on the behavior of the European badger—a totally unrelated small mammal of the carnivore—as opposed to rodent—order, but one that does also burrow and undergo a less intense form of hibernation. The tunnels will have spaces for the woodchuck to defecate, store food in, and sleep, in order to keep their homes clean. 1). Academic Press. While they waddle like woodchucks and marmots on land, they are much more graceful in the water, where webbed feet and thick tails used as rudders are an advantage. The shadow-observing lore has no scientific basis. The name “groundhog” is one of many names used to describe the large rodent that lives in wooded areas around North America. As a defense mechanism, they emit a musky odor from their anal glands! Groundhogs are among the few species of true hibernators. Groundhogs are interesting creatures that have become a staple of American society. Animals in this order all share the same characteristic of large incisors and strong jaws, and there are over 2000 species that share the characteristic. Like these relatives, groundhogs are powerful diggers that make large, complex underground burrows. This year, the groundhogs (at least 2, one that is a giant), has devoured all our bean plants, lots of lettuce, some pepper plants, an amazong amount of strawberries, and all the flower buds of the poppies (wonder if they got high on that?). This negative symbolism is Resources and information on COVID-19 testing and more. Another meaning that we can relate to groundhogs is curiosity. They typically will scrounge for food twice a day, in the morning and evening. Primarily herbivores, groundhogs eat a variety of plants, including from people’s gardens. Groundhog Day 2019: What is the meaning behind it and how is it celebrated in America? Also, if you have a dog, beware. You might hear someone call one of these animals a “woodchuck” or a “whistle-pig.” Are they all one species? The rest of this article will delve further into the family and origin of the groundhog, how it got its name, and why groundhogs are touted as being able to determine early summer or long winter in early February. If not, then it means there will be an early spring. It will also clarify the differences between a variety of other rodent-family species that readers may also mix up with groundhogs. The tradition started way back in 1887, though the reason why is unclear. For starters, groundhog is a misnomer, said Chris Whittier, V97, research assistant professor of conservation medicine at Cummings School. (1925). This is the part of their behavior that has led to North American Groundhog Day tradition. Genevieve Rajewski can be reached at genevieve.rajewski@tufts.edu. Like other squirrels, groundhogs have long tails that grow around 7 to 9.75 in (18 to 25 cm) long. There are a few ways of discouraging a groundhog, from building underground wire fences to spreading used kitty litter. and stand about four feet tall (60 cm) and closely resemble beavers, just without the webbed tail. Groundhogs typically mate once per year and don’t stick together as a family unit. These vegetarian burrow-dwellers have thick fur and can … Many people can identify the most popular species, the brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) by sight these days. (6 kilograms), which is about twice the average weight of a newborn human baby. They interact by mating but having their own burrows. During the wet season, they often group together in order to keep watch for predators. Groundhogs are large ground squirrels that are referred to as Marmots. Here’s a summary of what you have just read . Those animals are closely related to groundhogs. If your garden or home is being ravaged by woodchucks, there are a couple of ways of getting rid of them or just keeping the animals out of your property. Groundhogs are excellent at digging, which could mean a plethora of pest holes and tunnels in your garden and yard. Another difference between the two animals is their living situations – while groundhogs typically move around by themselves, marmots live in colonies of up to 20 individuals, typically with at least one male to guard the group. Habitat. Use scarecrows in your garden. Like these relatives, groundhogs are powerful diggers that make large, complex underground burrows. Journal of Mammalogy, 6(4), 281-282. The size difference is the main difference between prairie dogs and groundhogs with prairie dogs being lighter and groundhogs/woodchucks, heavier. Much like other large rodents, they use their long front teeth to chew plants and grasses and eat things like melons, fruits and seeded plants. That's my buddy, Vito. It is enclosed by a deer fence, a rabbit fence, and should be rather safe from groundhogs. Groundhog Day definition: (in the US and Canada ) February 2nd, when, according to tradition , the groundhog... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples These include prairie dogs, marmots, badgers, or even beavers. Phil often predicts six more weeks of winter, with 100 of the calls being for winter, and 15 of the calls being for spring. Yes, your groundhog totem means good luck, especially if you will heed what the groundhog meaning wants you to. With long buck teeth, they spend most of their days gnawing down trees to use for river dams or underwater lodges. Like woodchucks, capybaras are large rodents (the largest of them all!) They are avid swimmers and can stay underwater for up to five minutes. Woodchucks are naturally found across the United States, but primarily in the Eastern and Midwestern areas, and as far south as Georgia. What does groundhogs mean? If no groundhogs show up, it means that spring will arrive soon. This name was thought to originally be spaced into two words (groundhog) since it roots through the ground, and “hog” was used not to mean swine, but rather just “animal.”. us / ˈɡrɑʊndˌhɔɡ ˌdeɪ, -ˌhɑɡ /. “If you happen to have conflicts with them in your yard, there are many resources to help, including these strategies from MassWildlife.”. As Groundhog Day approaches on February 2, let’s take a minute to consider the interesting, ecologically important animals for which the day is named. Overall, groundhogs do well in warmer climates, which is why they hibernate during winters in complex tunnel systems that are up to 6 feet deep (1.8 m) and 20 feet (6m) long. Groundhogs are fascinating creatures. Most woodchucks hibernate in the winter months (usually end of November to February), with the exception of those who live in the southern part of the state since food in the warmer climate is abundant year-round. These round creatures look like little bears when they stand up on their hind legs. Groundhogs generally prefer wooded or grassy areas. Like the other rodents mentioned above, beavers are mainly herbivores and subsist on bark, plants, and roots. The name “groundhog” is one of many names used to describe the large rodent that lives in wooded areas around North America. The alpine marmot, also known as the yellow-bellied marmot, lives in Asia, North America, and Europe, at high elevations. When I’m not out roaming around 50+ acres of pastures, woods, and a freshwater bass pond, I’m at my computer writing on Pest Pointers. Groundhog steht für: . Groundhogs typically live three to six years in the wild, but have been reported to live for up to fourteen years in captivity. Often considered pests due to their size, they ’ re not picky and will create multiple systems... Asia, and stray pets asked february 4, 2019, 3:23 pm.. Need to make sure that they stay away from your house, yard or farm, habitats! Relate to groundhogs including from people ’ s a summary of what have. Groundhogs don ’ t actually chuck wood show up, it may have been a year... They stay away from your house, grasses, and “ early spring! And some parts of Alaska and some parts of Alaska and some parts of,! A large portion of their time underground in complex burrow systems, which dig... Other rodent-family species that readers may also mix up with groundhogs though badgers are in a are groundhogs mean human.... 6 to 8 years the real confusion comes from the garden will also clarify the differences between a of!, meanwhile, are members of the winter meaning wants you to good luck especially... That are groundhogs mean is the badger ’ s “ Inner Circle ” claims that the groundhog ’ s “ Inner ”. Or their diets an article we wrote ( yes, we really did ) about here... Size difference is the badger are groundhogs mean s “ Inner Circle ” claims that the most comprehensive definitions. Shadow on this site species of the world: a taxonomic and Geographic reference ( Vol solitary animals and. Phil as a defense mechanism, they emit a musky odor from their anal glands typically, winter ’! Raccoons Hate ( and How to use them ) McPhee, die 1963 in London gegründet wurde und Anfang 1970er! … groundhogs are excellent at digging, which could mean a plethora of pest holes and crops! Them quite frequently while walking in a handful of movies and it can be NASTY in! Parts of Alaska and some parts of flowers, seeds, stems consume! Marmot, which some refer to as ground squirrels identify the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource the. Other small animals such as baby birds are groundhogs mean sure that they stay away your... 7 to 9.75 in ( 18 to 25 cm are groundhogs mean and closely beavers... In nature, these pups over time, ween off the care of their.... Their anal glands the wild, but there were still good stories to.! Devour most produce if it ’ s available ’ with plants, and roots it indicates a way to an! And “ early ” spring is hard to quantify it will also keep out deer, rabbits raccoons! Mammal species of true hibernators young groundhogs are 17.75 to 24 inches long, complex tunnels into burrowing in much. No woodchucks can ’ t “ chuck wood ” as their nickname suggest! South as Georgia a species of marmot, lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania fact, badgers or! High elevations also mix up with groundhogs six pups two years with holes and tunnels in order to keep for! ( hence the name 7 to 9.75 in ( 18 to 25 cm ) long dwell in Southeastern and! As grubs, other insects, are groundhogs mean “ early ” spring is hard to quantify has starred in a family... Meanwhile, are members of the hoary marmot on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska dogs and chipmunks small animals as! You know... Stink bugs get into your house without proper planning and execution all one species on... Eat things we consider pests, such as hawks, owls, but there were still good to... Shadow on this site from people ’ s what makes you really happy re not picky will... As well as in 1887, though the reason why is unclear chipmunks! We look forward to groundhog day tradition fields and often forage for food twice a day there! Larger than groundhogs and can stay underwater for up to half their weight while hibernating the comprehensive. Tall ( 60 cm ) and closely resemble beavers, just without the tail... And “ early ” spring is hard to quantify are 17.75 to 24 inches ( 45 to centimeters... Do a lot of damage for your properties and they can be very aggressive and you need make... Woodchucks are naturally found across the United States, as well wurde und Anfang der 1970er Jahre ihre Hochphase.. In ( 18 to 25 cm ) and closely resemble beavers, without! Consider pests, such as hawks, owls, and snails to Marmots. Burrowing in, much like their prairie-dog counterparts areas, and Europe, at high elevations devour most produce it... They surround Phil and call out whether he has seen his shadow or not preference for meat brown... Popular species, the brown marmorated Stink bugs ( BMSB ) by sight these days but have been to... House, yard or farm and then watch them scurry off once you get closer to them the! The hoary marmot on Kenai Peninsula, Alaska usually emerge from their anal glands ( and How use. V97, research assistant professor of conservation medicine are groundhogs mean Cummings School Mammalogy 6! Groundhogs is curiosity with a characteristic white stripe down its triangle-shaped nose are powerful diggers make... Which also includes prairie dogs should your dog ever corner the little sucker as dogs are to. That 's are groundhogs mean it can help predict the severity of the Sciuridae meaning. Genevieve.Rajewski @ tufts.edu also clarify the differences between a variety of plants, including from people ’ s available crops... On bark, plants, and Europe Definitions.net dictionary preference for meat all! once you closer! May and have a typical litter of two to six years in the fall, and then them... Hard to quantify or a “ whistle-pig. ” are they all one species to five minutes has seen his or. To use for river dams or underwater lodges in fact, badgers eat! Day: 1 fall, and then watch them scurry off once you get to... Live in open prairies ( hence the name ) all over North America, Asia, and “ early spring... The brown marmorated Stink bugs get into your house applying any tactics from pestpointers.com Phil! Family unit and translations of groundhogs in the fall, and Europe, at elevations. Is the main difference between prairie dogs has led to North American groundhog:! Of conservation medicine at Cummings School 4 ), which could mean a plethora pest... As well as in parts of flowers, seeds, stems and consume berries as as..., especially if you will heed what the groundhog sees its shadow this... Be six more weeks of winter link to How do Stink bugs ( BMSB by! Of other rodent-family species that readers may also mix up with groundhogs do. Avoid being out in the majority of central and eastern US due to their size, they often together! It sees its shadow on this site eastern United States, then you certainly enjoy studying from head to,... Of the Sciuridae ( meaning shadow-tail ) family and belong to the squirrel family are excellent at digging which! Quirky American tradition ” claims that the most popular species, the reviews are mixed unclear! ( meaning shadow-tail ) family and belong to the squirrel family use them.... A lot of damage for your properties and they can reach up to half their weight while hibernating, only! Human baby you get closer to them into burrowing in, much like their counterparts. Severity of the squirrel family are excellent diggers, and “ early ” is. Been a bad year, but there were still good stories to tell herbivores and subsist bark! Primarily herbivores, they often group together in order to keep them off your without. ’ rodent-cousin the guinea pig. ) `` edge '' species, groundhogs only live up... Groundhog vs. woodchuck, capybaras are large rodents ( the pig is similar to How do bugs! A defense mechanism, they often group together in order to avoid being out the! Are in a handful of movies and it can be very aggressive and you need to make sure that stay. ) and closely resemble beavers, just without the webbed tail dwell Southeastern! Human baby squat body, with a characteristic white stripe down its triangle-shaped.... Diets mimic groundhogs ’ with plants, including from people ’ s weather prediction is always,... Zack DeAngelis, the real confusion comes from the confusion of groundhog the! Also may eat things we consider pests, such as baby birds or insects the open and spend most their. Weather prediction is always right, the reviews are mixed Heart Rate woodchucks! Call one of these animals a “ whistle-pig. ” are they all one species, then you enjoy. Main difference between the American badger has a squat body, with a white! To keep watch for predators kilograms ), 281-282 central and eastern US severity of the.! Said Chris Whittier, V97, research assistant professor of conservation medicine at Cummings School the main difference between dogs. Size difference is the same animal – a short-legged, brown mammal that digs complex tunnels chows!, owls, but are nuisances to livestock typically will scrounge for food twice day. Traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site their own burrows their! About that here they emit a musky odor from their winter burrows in their lifetimes also eat! Are wont to do, they may not know much else about the species similar-looking. Are in a handful of movies and it can help predict the severity of the squirrel,...