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Rodent Information

Rodent Information

Rodentia, ro den' she a, or Rodents, the largest order of mammals, containing more than 20 families and several thousand species, of such animals as rats, mice, squirrels and rabbits. Its members extend to all parts of the world, with the possible exception of Australia and New Zealand. Some, like the mice, are minute, while the largest is nearly as large as a hog. In general, they are furry, though sometimes they are spiny; they walk flat-footed, and their toes are armed with claw-like nails, or resemble parted hoofs. They live chiefly upon the earth, though a few are tree lovers, and some are aquatic. A few can fly. Their teeth are fitted for gnawing, and by having a very hard enamel on the outer surface, with little or none on the inner, they are kept constantly sharp. In the back part of the mouth is a cavity, in which the rodents can store substances that are being gnawed, without taking the chips into the mouth proper. Most of them are active, vigorous animals, and some have become great pests to the human family.

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