GLIRES

Rodents and Rabbits

Download an outline of this lecture as a Word Document or an ADOBE PDF document.

Order RODENTIA

Characters [Table 13-1]

    1. single pair of curved, evergrowing incisors with enamel restricted to the anterior face [Fig. 13-2]
    2. long diastema between incisors and first cheek tooth [Fig. 13-2]
    3. lower molars without a paraconid

    Typical rodent tooth system from Wikipedia

    1. Rodent jaw structue [Fig. 13-4]
      1. Sciurognathi [Fig. 13-4]
        1. Images to the left from Tullberg 1899
        2. Angular process (ap) in line drawn from base of incisors through the tooth row
        3. High coronoid process (cp)
      2. Hystricognathi [Fig. 13-4]I
        1. Images to the right from Tullberg 1899
        2. Angular process (ap) outside of line drawn from base of incisors through the tooth row
        3. Low coronoid process (cp)

    Rodent jaw musculature [Fig. 13-3]

    1. protrogomorphous
    2. sciuromorphous
      1. zygomatic plate
    3. hystricomorphous
    4. myomorphous [Fig. 13-5]

    Figure modified from Romer, 1945

  1. over 40% of all mammalian species are rodents
Order RODENTIA
Sciurognathi
Aplodontidae (1, 1) Mountain beaver
Sciuridae (51, 278) Squirrels, marmots
Gliridae (9, 28) Dormice
Castoridae (1, 2) Beavers
Geomyidae (6, 40) Pocket gophers
Hetromyidae (6, 60) Pocket mice, kangaroo rats
Dipodidae (16, 51) Jerboas, birch mice, jumping mice
Platacanthomyidae (2, 2) Spiny and soft-furred tree mice
Spalacidae (6, 36) Zokors, bamboo rats, blind mole rats
Calomyscidae (1, 8) Mouse-like hamsters
Nesomyidae (21, 61) Madagascar rats and mice
Cricetidae (130, 681) Voles and mice
Muridae (150, 730) Old World rats and mice
Anomaluridae (3, 7) Scaly-tailed squirrels
Pedetidae (1, 2) Springhaas
Ctenodactylidae (4, 5) Gundis
Hystricognathi
Bathyergidae (5, 16) Mole rats
Hystricidae (3, 11) Old World porcupines
Petromuridae (1, 1) Dassie rat
Thryonomyidae (1, 2) Cane rats
Erethizontidae (4, 16) New World Porcupines
Chinchillidae (3, 7) Chinchillas, viscachias
Dinomyidae (1, 1) Paracana
Caviidae (6, 18) Cavies, guinea pigs, Patagonian hare, capybara
Dasyproctidae (2, 13) Agoutis, acouchis
Cuniculidae (1, 2) Pacas
Ctenomyidae (1, 60) Tuco-tucos
Octodontidae (8, 13) Viscacha rats, coruro
Abrocomidae (1, 10) Chinchilla rats
Echimyidae (21, 90) Spiny rats
Capromyidae (8, 20) Hutias
Myocastoridae (1, 1) Nutria

Families, etc. discussed in lecture

 

  1. Family Aplodontidae [Figs. 13-6-13-8]
    1. the only living protrogomorphous rodents
    2. North American endemic family.
    3. Aplodontia rufa is the only species in this monotypic family.
    4. Wikipedia
 
  1. Family Sciuridae [Figs 13-9. 13-10]
    1. tree & ground squirrels (marmots, prairie dogs), "flying" squirrels [Fig. 13.11]
    2. Prairie Dogs as keystone species
    3. Bernoulli Goes Underground

       
 

Sciurus niger - fox squirrel (left) and Spermophilus - ground squirrel (right).  photographs 2001 by  Dr. Allan H. Chaney, used with permission

  1. Family Castoridae Figs. 13-12, 13-13, 13-14
    1. Castor canadensis, American beaver
    2. beavers are keystone species
    3. Tierra del Fuego: the beavers must die
  2. Family Geomyidae [Fig. 13-16-13-17]
    1. pocket gophers
  3. Family Heteromyidae [Fig. 3-17-13-18]
    1. pocket mice and kangaroo rats
    2. xeric adaptations
    3. Dipodomys
  4. Family Dipodidae 
  5. Family Muridae
    1.  730 species in 150 genera in 5 subfamilies
      1. Murinae(126, 569): The Old World Rats and Mice
      2. Gerbillinae (16, 103)
      3. Lophiomyinae
        1. African crested rat uses poison trick to foil predators

  6. Cricetidae
    1. 681 species in 130 genera and 6 subfamilies
      1. Sigmodontinae (74, 377)
        1. Neotropical rats and mice
        2. Neotropical Sigmodontinae from Scott Steppan
      2. Neotominae (16, 124)
        1. deer mice, wood rats, and relatives
        2. the Peromyscus website from the University of South Carolina
      3. Arvicolinae (28, 151)
        1. voles and lemmings
        2. r-selection
        3. population cycles [Figs. 23-18 - 23-20]
        4. lemming migrations
      4. Cricetinae (7, 18)
        1. hamsters
  7. Bathyergidae
    1. Heterocephalus glaber
      1. naked mole rat mammaries from Paul Sherman et al.
      2. Eusociality
  8.    
  9. Caviidae
    1. Cavies, Guinea pigs, maras (the Patagonian hare)
    2. Hydrochoeridae: Capybaras
      1. are now considered a subfamily (Hydrochoerinae) of the Caviidae
      2. for more information access the capybara page
      3. considered as fish for Lent, Fridays

    Mara Cal Photos 2000 John White.

    capybara.jpg (68420 bytes)

    Capybaras, Click on image to enlarge;
    2000 ZooNet/ Birmingham Zoo

  10. Hystricidae
    1. Old World Porcupines
  11. Erethizontidae
    1. New World Porcupines
      1. Left: Coendu prehensilis - South American prehensile tailed porcupine. Picture taken by Will Lukefahr at the US National Zoological Park
      2. Right: Erethizon dorsatum - North American porcupine.  photograph 2001 by  Dr. Allan H. Chaney, used with permission
           
     
  12. Chinchillidae
  13. Myocastoridae
    1. Myocastor coypus, the nutria

 

Order LAGOMORPHA

 Characters

  1. 2/1 incisors, second pair of uppers, small and peg-like, directly behind the first
  2. evergrowing incisors and diastema [Fig. 13-55]
  3. fenestrated maxilla [Fig. 13-55]
  4. scrotum anterior to penis (as in marsupials)
  5. soles of feet entirely furred
  6. hypsodont cheek teeth
  7. terrestrial herbivores
  8. copraphagy (also rodents, shrews)
 
 

 Family Ochotonidae- pikas [Figs 13-58, -59]

  1. Nearctic, Palearctic
  2. pinna short, no tail, short limbs
  3. no supraorbital process
  4. cure and store hay
  5. live in talus slopes in alpine areas; plus steppe and forest
 
Pika 
American pika (Ochotona princeps)
photo by Justen Johnsen

Family Leporidae--rabbits and hares

  1. cosmopolitan
  2. pinna long, pointed, tail distinct, hindlimbs long
  3. highly fenestrated maxilla (fig 13-55); squamosals and parietals weakly fenestrated
  4. postorbital process present
  5. females larger than males
  6. hares, precocial young in open
  7. rabbits, altricial young in nests
  8. Australian rabbits
  9. Population cycles in Arctic hares

 

Lepus californicus - black-tailed jackrabbit
photograph 2001 by 
Dr. Allan H. Chaney, used with permission

 

 -

Return to: 

Mammalogy Syllabus

Baskin Home Page

Biology Home Page