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Woodchuck or Groundhog
Scientific classification

The groundhog or woodchuck, Marmota monax, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Most marmots live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the woodchuck is a creature of the lowlands. It is widely distributed in North America, from Alaska to Alabama and Georgia, though it is not found in the western United States (apart from Alaska and northern Washington).

Woodchucks are typically 40-65cm long (including a 15-cm tail) and weigh 2-4 kilograms.

The woodchuck is one of a small number of species that have grown greatly in numbers since the arrival of European settlers in North America, since the clearing of forests provided it with much suitable habitat. It prefers open country and the edges of woodland. As a consequence, it is a familiar animal to many people in the United States and Canada.

Woodchucks are excellent burrowers, and they use burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernation.

In the United States, there is a Groundhog Day celebration that gives the woodchuck some added popularity.

External links

The woodchuck is also the arch-nemesis of The Internet Oracle