Difference Between Groundhog and Woodchuck
Groundhog vs Woodchuck
Groundhogs and woodchucks are the same animal. “Woodchuck” is just another name for “groundhog.” Other names that are used for this particular animal include “whistle pig” and “land beaver.”
The groundhog is 1 of the 14 species of marmots. Its species name is Marmota monax and it belongs to the genus Marmota, family (Scuiridae), and order Rodentia. Its higher classification includes kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, and Class Mammalia. The groundhog or woodchuck is the largest member of the squirrel family. It characterized as a ground squirrel that can climb trees and can swim in the water.
They are considered as garden pests since their diet is primarily plants like grass, fruits, agricultural crops, berries, and tree bark. However, they are also known to eat insects, grubs, caterpillars, snails, and grasshoppers.
Groundhogs or woodchucks are common in the North American areas such as the United States, Canada, and Alaska. Unlike their fellow marmots, they are lowland creatures with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws for digging. Their spine is curved with two coats of fur. They also have two, large incisors.
Groundhogs are famous because they are one of the few animals who undergo complete hibernation during the winter season. During the summer, the groundhogs eat all the season to accumulate a lot of body fat. When winter comes (usually in October to April), they escape to their burrows, curl into a ball, lower their heartbeats and their body temperature. During hibernation, the stored fat gives it all the necessary nutrients that the groundhog needs. The hibernation ends at the start of spring. Spring during the months of March to April also signifies new life for the groundhog since a litter of six newborns are usually born at this time of the year.
Aside from a place for a hibernation spot, a groundhog’s burrows are also the ideal place for sleeping, raising young groundhogs, and escaping predators like wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, owls, and dogs. A groundhog’s burrow has a number of entrances and exits which makes it perfect as an escape route from predators.
Burrows are often found in forest edges near open fields like meadows, roads, and streams. A groundhog would usually serve as a guard to the burrow. A high-pitched whistle from the outside is an indication of an incoming predator and danger. The groundhog can also produce other sounds like low barks and sound from grinding their teeth.
The word “woodchuck” is associated with the groundhog since the Algonquian name for the groundhog is “wuchack.” From there it evolved into “woodchuck.” It has been the subject of a famous tongue twister and a day dedicated to the animal.
1.A groundhog is very similar to a woodchuck because they are basically the same animal. The only difference is the name of the animal or the label that people ascribe it with. The name “woodchuck” is derived from “wuchuck,” an Algonquian name for the animal.
2.Since groundhogs and woodchucks are the same, they belong to the same classification of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. They also have the same appearance, behaviour, diet, and other animal characteristics.
3.Groundhogs are routine hibernators during the winter season. They accumulate food to turn into fat during the summer; sleep and hibernate during the winter, and awake during spring. Spring is also the breeding season for the groundhogs with a litter of six young groundhogs.
4.For the groundhogs, the burrow is a multi-purpose area for sleeping, hibernating, and safe shelter for the young.
5.Groundhogs are excellent tree climbers and swimmers.
6.Groundhogs are the subject of a day of celebration and a famous tongue twister.
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