Groundhog Facts for Kids

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are furry creatures that belong to the squirrel family. They are native to North America and are often associated with the holiday of Groundhog Day. Here are some interesting facts about groundhogs that kids will surely enjoy.

1. They Mound Dirt

Groundhogs are known for being expert diggers. They build burrow systems that can extend up to 30 feet underground. Their dens are often located beneath shrubs, trees or even rock formations. As they dig, they pile up dirt to create a large mound that can be over a foot high.

2. They Hibernate

During winter months, groundhogs hibernate in their burrows. Their body temperature drops to just above freezing, and their heart rate slows to only a few beats per minute. They typically don’t wake up until early spring when temperatures rise.

3. They are Herbivores

Groundhogs are vegetarians and like to munch on grasses, fruits, and vegetables. They can cause damage to gardens and crops because they consume so much vegetation. Farmers often have to take preventive measures to protect their crops from groundhogs.

4. They are Climbers

Despite their reputation for burrowing, groundhogs can also climb trees. They have been known to use low-hanging branches to climb and beware of predators such as foxes or coyotes.

5. They are Excellent Swimmers

Groundhogs are good swimmers and are not afraid to take a dip in water. They tend to prefer shallow water and are often seen near creeks and ponds.

6. They Have Strong Teeth

Groundhogs have powerful front teeth that are well suited for snipping and nibbling through tough vegetation. Their teeth never stop growing, so they have to constantly chew on things to wear them down.

7. They are Good Moms

Female groundhogs are excellent mothers. They usually birth up to four offspring in the early spring and stay in their dens until the babies are old enough to venture outside. Young groundhogs typically stay with their mothers for a few months before going out on their own.

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