Animals / Mammal Facts / Rodents - Most Populous Group of Mammals / Voles and Lemmings - Chubby, Herbivore and Prey

Voles and Lemmings - Chubby, Herbivore and Prey

pine woodland vole


The voles and lemming subfamily includes about 140 different species of rodents. The largest is the muskrat. These rodents are found in North America, Northern Europe and Asia. The lemmings live most often in the most northerly regions. All of the species are mostly herbivorous and they usually live in groups or colonies.





field guide lemmings voles


Many of these rodents are happy diggers carving up tunnels underground. Some in the family are partly aquatic and others like to climb in bushes.


vole eating rocks


Voles and lemmings are known for their population cycles where every few years the population numbers can grow to be very large. This in turn greatly affects the livelihood of their predators. This subfamily of rodents has many species that make up the favorite meal for many a predator species. All meat-eating mammals and birds seem to find them tasty and just big enough for a decent meal. For example, the snowy owl loves to dine on lemmings and the golden jackals loves to feast on muskrats.


round snow hole






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