Cricetidae - New World rats, mice, voles, muskrats, lemmings, hamsters
This is the largest family of rodents and the second largest family of mammals! There are 698 species in this diverse family that includes mice, rats, voles, lemmings, and hamsters. They are found in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. They are found in a variety of habitats including swamps, grasslands, tundra, deciduous forests, coniferous forests, rainforests, deserts, wetlands, mountains, and suburban, and urban areas.
The rodents in this family range in size from tiny mice to the muskrat. Most species have rounded ears, short bodies, long tails, and big eyes. Cricetids usually have brown or gray fur. Most species have large litters of babies and can breed when they are just a few months old. Most species only live for a year or two and are prey for a number of predators. Many species are nocturnal. Some species live above ground, other species burrow underground, and other species live in trees. Some species spend a lot of time in the water. Some species are solitary and other species live in groups. Some cricetids are herbivores, other are carnivores, and some are omnivores!
World Status Key