10 Animals Like Groundhogs (How They’re Alike)

Last updated on December 21st, 2023 at 09:49 pm

“Animals Like to Groundhogs” by Wildlife Informer explores various animals that share similarities with groundhogs. Every February 2nd, groundhogs get 5 minutes of fame – before they are forgotten for the next 12 months.

Groundhogs, scientifically known as Marmota monax, are herbivores that occasionally consume insects and snails. With a lifespan of approximately 3 years, these stocky mammals weigh between 5 to 13 pounds (2 to 6 kilograms) and have a body length ranging from 16 to 20 inches (41 to 51 centimeters).

Groundhogs are common throughout the United States, often causing havoc in gardens and even structural damage to homes. While they don’t threaten humans significantly, their impact on the property can’t be ignored.

10 Animals Like Groundhogs

Examples of animals like groundhogs include marmots, badgers, beavers, capybaras, and chipmunks. Beavers are the creatures most commonly confused for groundhogs. Still, several others share many of the same traits as groundhogs.

1. Gopher

Animals Like Groundhogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameGeomyidae
  • Size: 6-8 in
  • Weight: 1-2.2 lb
  • Found In: Central America, USA, Canada

How are they like Groundhogs: Gophers and groundhogs are frequently confused due to their strikingly similar appearances.

Gophers, numbering around 41 species, are smaller and lighter than groundhogs.

Their yellowish teeth are visible even when their mouths are closed, contrasting with groundhogs whose white teeth are only exposed when they open their mouths.

Similar to groundhogs, gophers feature short legs, bodies, and long tails, utilizing their sizable front teeth for digging. These rodents create intricate tunnel systems underground as their preferred habitat.

2. Ground Squirrel

Animals Like Groundhogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameMarmotini
  • Size: 8-12 in
  • Weight: 1-3 lb
  • Found In: North America and northern Eurasia

How are they like Groundhogs: Groundhogs, similar to squirrels, are rodents with fur in shades of brown or gray.

There are over 60 species of ground squirrels. Groundhogs, although belonging to the same family, are significantly larger, featuring a stockier and wider body.

In contrast to squirrels, groundhogs have less bushy tails and are terrestrial, creating tunnels and burrows beneath the soil.

3. Prairie Dog

Animals Like Groundhogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameCynomys
  • Size: 12-15 in
  • Weight: 1.5-3 lb
  • Found In: North America

How are they like Groundhogs: Groundhogs and prairie dogs, part of the Marmotini family, share a similar body shape and fur color, though groundhogs are slightly larger.

Groundhogs and prairie dogs share a common diet of grasses, plants, seeds, and insects, creating underground tunnels for shelter.

While groundhogs prefer solitary living, prairie dogs form large colonies, exhibiting social behavior in groups called coteries, where a male oversees a group of females.

4. Beaver

Animals Like Groundhogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameCastor
  • Size: 2.4-3.1 ft
  • Weight: 27-60 lb
  • Found In: USA, Canada, and Northern Mexico

How are they like Groundhogs: Groundhogs and beavers share similar physical traits, such as fur color, short bodies, dark eyes, round ears, stubby legs, and sharp buck teeth; distinguishingly, a beaver’s front teeth are orange, while a groundhog’s are white.

To distinguish between them, observe their weight and tails – beavers, almost 5 times heavier, have wide, flattened tails, while groundhogs have short, fluffy ones. Despite shared attributes, groundhogs live in burrows, while beavers, requiring water, build dams and weigh up to 60 pounds (27 kg).

5. Badger

Animals Like Groundhogs

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameMeles meles
  • Size: 1.8–2.5 ft
  • Weight: 9-11 lb
  • Found In: North America

How are they like Groundhogs: The burrows of groundhogs and badgers are often confused due to their similar body shape, featuring short legs on a wide and stout body; however, these creatures have distinct appearances.

Badgers, part of the weasel family, have brown or black fur with white markings, while groundhogs, members of the rodent family, sport fur in shades of brown, gray, or cinnamon; notable distinctions include badgers being carnivorous, capable of eating groundhogs, whereas groundhogs primarily consume plants and flowers, with occasional insects, snails, or grubs.

Additionally, badgers are more active in the evening and undergo temporary 24-hour hibernation states.

6. Muskrat

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameOndatra zibethicus
  • Size: 8-10 in
  • Weight: 1.3-4.4 lb
  • Found In: North America, South America, Europe, and Asia

How are they like Groundhogs: Both species are typically brown and possess a stocky, muscular build.

Muskrats, smaller than groundhogs, are mainly aquatic rodents with a diet centered on vegetation.

While both have a stocky build, muskrats differ with long, hairless, scaled tails, in contrast to groundhogs’ thick and short, fur-covered tails. Muskrats, primarily nocturnal, live monogamously and defend their family.

Notably, they have yellow front teeth, unlike groundhogs with white teeth. Muskrats inhabit wetlands like marshes and swamps.

7. Wombat

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameVombatidae
  • Size: 40 in
  • Weight: 44-77 lb
  • Found In: Australia

How are they like Groundhogs: Despite residing on different continents, groundhogs and wombats share similarities, using their teeth to consume roots and plants, possessing a similar dental structure, and engaging in burrow excavation.

Native to Australia, wombats are short-legged, muscular marsupials with small, stubby tails, rodent-like front teeth, and powerful claws.

Nocturnal by nature, they excavate burrows up to 30 meters long and a few meters deep, leading solitary lives except for short periods with a mate.

8. Capybara

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific nameHydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  • Size: 3.5-4.4 ft
  • Weight: 77-150 lb
  • Found In: South America

How are they like Groundhogs: Capybaras share similarities with groundhogs, including a similar body shape, fur color, and large front teeth. However, they also have notable differences.

Capybaras, considerably larger than groundhogs, are not as widespread and native to South America.
While groundhogs inhabit the United States, capybaras are highly social, often found in groups of up to 100 individuals.

Unlike groundhogs, capybaras lack tails but possess webbed feet. These semi-aquatic creatures excel in swimming, with the ability to hold their breath for up to five minutes.

9. Chipmunk

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Tamias
  • Size: 8 to 10 in
  • Weight: 42 to 141 grams
  • Found In: North America

How are they like Groundhogs: Chipmunks and groundhogs share a diet rich in seeds, nuts, and plant material, with chipmunks utilizing cheek pouches to transport food to their burrows.

Chipmunks, significantly smaller than groundhogs, share membership in the Sciuridae family with common characteristics such as being skilled diggers and creating large underground caves.

Despite their distinct appearance, they both consume plant roots and are active during the day, leading solitary lives, and hibernating in their burrows during colder months.

10. Vole

Image Source Pixabay

  • Scientific name: Microtus
  • Size: 4 to 6 in
  • Weight: 1 ounce (28 grams)
  • Found In: Northern America from Alaska

How are they like Groundhogs: Voles share the characteristic of having white front incisors, just like the groundhog.

Like groundhogs, voles are adept diggers, constructing tunnels and burrows underground.

Despite their smaller size, voles share a similar body shape and consume many of the same plants and grasses as groundhogs.

Active both day and night, voles live in colonies with adults and young, foregoing hibernation.

Conclusion

Many animals look like groundhogs, each with unique features. The marmot is the most similar, albeit larger, and found in different parts of the world. Other resemblant animals include beavers, muskrats, and badgers. While each has specific characteristics, they all generally resemble groundhogs.

FAQs

1. What are groundhogs similar to?

Gophers share many similarities with groundhogs. Both are rodents, known for their brown and furry appearance, herbivorous diet, and expertise in digging burrows.

2. What is the closest animal to a groundhog?

Woodchucks/groundhogs, along with the other 14 marmot species, belong to the same family as squirrels and prairie dogs. These animals, part of the Sciuridae family, share similar characteristics.

3. Are groundhogs friendly animals?

Groundhogs are generally not aggressive and can be easily scared. Using deterrents is an effective way to keep them away from unwanted areas. Trapping groundhogs is not considered a humane solution unless they are sick or injured.

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