Rodents are the largest of the mammalian orders, containing over 2,000 species. Familiar rodents include mice, rats and squirrels, but animals such as the porcupine, the beaver and the agouti are also rodents. All rodents have front teeth specialised for gnawing.
Scientific name: Rodentia
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
Rodents are mammals of the order Rodentia, characterised by a single pair of continuously growing incisors in each of the upper and lower jaws that must be kept short by gnawing.
About 40% of mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents other than Antarctica. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, and hamsters. Rodents use their sharp incisors to gnaw wood, break into food, and bite predators. Most rodents eat seeds or plants, though some have more varied diets. Some species have historically been pests, eating seeds stored by people and spreading disease.
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