Lemmings - Little Snow Rodents


brown

 

One of the most misunderstood animals in the world, lemmings are small rodents that can be found in the following species and ranges: Lemmus lemmusare found in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Kola Peninsula of extreme northwestern Russia; Lemmus sibiricus are found in the arctic mainland and islands of Russia; Lemmus trimucronatus are found in the Chukota region of northeastern Siberia, Alaska, central British Columbia, southeastern Alberta, Banks and Victoria Islands, Prince of Wales Island, Baffin Island; and the Lemmus amurensis can be found in eastern Siberia.

 

 

fat tundra

 

The common misconception about lemmings comes from an old theory that they were prone to committing accidental mass suicide because of tendency to blindly follow one another. This is not true at all. The population size of lemmings does vary wildly, going through a 4 year boom and decline cycle which has puzzled scientists for years. The population fluctuation is probably due to natural cycles and their predators – foxes, owls, and other birds and mammals.

 

collared

 

In terms of appearance, that varies a bit by species, brown lemmings are brown to gray colored with a lighter shade on their underbelly while the Norwegians have some patches of orange-yellow and black. They're heavily furred and have a stocky build. They have shorts tails and short ears, and commonly weigh 1.4-3.95 ounces ( 40-112 grams), with lengths of 3.9-5.3 inches (10-13.5 centimeters). Lemmings are subniveal, and can survive by living and foraging under the snow, but above the soil, in cold winter conditions.

 

norwegian shows teeth

 

 

 

Animal pages