The coyote is a species of canine native to North America. Coyotes use a den when gestating and rearing young, Coyote dens can be located in canyons, washouts, coulees, banks, rock bluffs, or level ground. Coyote males average 18 to 44 lb in weight, while females average 15 to 40 lb, though size varies geographically. Body length ranges on average from 3 ft 3 in to 4 ft 5 in, and tail length of 16 in, with females being shorter in both body length and height. The color and texture of the coyote's fur vary somewhat geographically. The hair's predominant color is light gray and red or fulvous, interspersed around the body with black and white. Coyotes living at high elevations tend to have more black and gray shades than their desert-dwelling counterparts, which are more fulvous or whitish-gray. The coyote is highly versatile in its choice of food, but is primarily carnivorous, with 90% of its diet consisting of meat.
The Raccoon, sometimes called the common raccoon to distinguish it from other species, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The Raccoon has a body length of 16 to 28 in, and a body weight of 11 to 57 lb. Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur, which insulates it against cold weather. Three of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws, its facial mask, and its ringed tail. Its diet consists of about 40% invertebrates, 33% plant material and 27% vertebrates.
In the United States and Canada, the only species of opossum found is the Virginia opossum. It is often simply referred to as an "opossum", and in North America they are commonly referred to as possums. Opossums are small to medium-sized marsupials that grow to the size of a house cat. Most members of this order have long snouts, a narrow braincase, and a prominent sagittal crest. Opossums eat dead animals, insects, rodents and birds. They also feed on eggs, frogs, plants, fruits and grain.
Voles are small rodents that are relatives of lemmings and hamsters, but with a stouter body; a shorter, hairy tail; a slightly rounder head; smaller ears and eyes; and differently formed molars. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. Voles grow to 3–9 in, depending on the species. Voles thrive on small plants yet, like shrews, they will eat dead animals and, like mice and rats, they can live on almost any nut or fruit. In addition, voles target plants more than most other small animals, making their presence evident. Voles readily girdle small trees and ground cover much like a porcupine. This girdling can easily kill young plants and is not healthy for trees and other shrubs.
Moles are small mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have cylindrical bodies, velvety fur, very small, inconspicuous eyes and ears, reduced hindlimbs, and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws adapted for digging. A mole's diet primarily consists of earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil. The mole runs are in reality "worm traps", the mole sensing when a worm falls into the tunnel and quickly running along to kill and eat it.
Foxes are small to medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. They have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail. Male foxes weigh on average between 9 and 19 lbs. Foxes are omnivores. Their diet is made up primarily of invertebrates such as insects and small vertebrates such as reptiles and birds. They may also eat eggs and vegetation. Many species are generalist predators, but some have more specialized diets. Most species of fox consume around 2.2 lbs of food every day.
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera. With their forelimbs adapted as wings, they are the only mammals capable of true and sustained flight. Bats are more manoeuvrable than birds, flying with their very long spread-out digits covered with a thin membrane or patagium. Different bat species have different diets, including insects, nectar, pollen, fruit and even vertebrates. Megabats are mostly fruit, nectar and pollen eaters. Due to their small size, high-metabolism and rapid burning of energy through flight, bats must consume large amounts of food for their size.
Woodpeckers range from tiny piculets measuring no more than 2.8 inches in length and weighing 0.25 oz to large woodpeckers which can be more than 20 inches in length. The colors of many species are based on olive and brown and some are pied, suggesting a need for camouflage; others are boldly patterned in black, white and red, and many have a crest or tufted feathers on the crown. Woodpeckers mostly forage for insect prey on the trunks and branches of trees, and often communicate by drumming with their beak, producing a reverberatory sound that can be heard at some distance. Some species vary their diet with fruits, birds' eggs, small animals, tree sap, human scraps, and carrion. They mostly nest and roost in holes that they excavate in tree trunks.
Skunks are omnivorous, eating both plant and animal material and changing their diets as the seasons change. Skunks are known for their ability to spray a liquid with a strong, unpleasant scent. They eat insects, larvae, earthworms, grubs, rodents, lizards, salamanders, frogs, snakes, birds, moles, and eggs. They also commonly eat berries, roots, leaves, grasses, fungi and nuts. Skunk species vary in size from about 15.6 to 37 in. long and in weight from about 1.1 lb to 18 lb. They have moderately elongated bodies with relatively short, well-muscled legs and long front claws for digging. Although the most common fur color is black and white, some skunks are brown or grey and a few are cream-colored. All skunks are striped, even from birth.
Chipmunks are small, striped rodents of the family Sciuridae found in North America. Chipmunks have an omnivorous diet primarily consisting of seeds, nuts and other fruits, and buds. They also commonly eat grass, shoots, and many other forms of plant matter, as well as fungi, insects and other arthropods, small frogs, worms, and bird eggs. Chipmunks construct extensive burrows which can be more than 11 ft in length with several well-concealed entrances.
Armadillos are characterized by a leathery armor shell and long, sharp claws for digging. They have short legs, but can move quite quickly. The average length of an armadillo is about 30 in. including the tail. The giant armadillo grows up to 59 in. and weighs up to 119 lb, while the pink fairy armadillo has a length of only 5–6 in. When threatened by a predator they frequently roll up into a ball. They are prolific diggers. Many species use their sharp claws to dig for food, such as grubs, and to dig dens. The nine-banded armadillo prefers to build burrows in moist soil near the creeks, streams, and arroyos around which it lives and feeds. The diets of different armadillo species vary, but consist mainly of insects, grubs, and other invertebrates. Some species, however, feed almost entirely on ants and termites.
A mouse, plural mice, is a small rodent. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. Mice have an adult body length (nose to base of tail) of 3–4 in and a tail length of 2–4 in.In the wild they vary in color from grey and light brown to black. They have short hair and some, but not all, sub-species have a light belly. The ears and tail have little hair. The hind feet are short though they can jump vertically up to 18 in. House mice primarily feed on plant matter, but are omnivorous.
Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. The best-known rat species are the black rat and the brown rat. Rats are considered omnivores and eat a wide range of foods, including seeds, fruit, stems, leaves, fungi, and a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates. They are generalists, and thus not very specific in their food preferences. A typical adult black rat is 5.0 to 7.2 in long, not including a 5.9 to 8.7 in. tail, and weighs 2.6 to 8.1 oz, depending on the subspecies.
Squirrels are generally small animals, ranging in size from 3.9–5.5 in. in total length and just 0.42–0.92 oz in weight. Squirrels typically have slender bodies with very long very bushy tails and large eyes. In general, their fur is soft and silky, though much thicker in some species than others. Squirrels live in almost every habitat, from tropical rainforest to semiarid desert, avoiding only the high polar regions and the driest of deserts. They are predominantly herbivorous, subsisting on seeds and nuts, but many will eat insects and even small vertebrates. As their large eyes indicate, squirrels have an excellent sense of vision, which is especially important for the tree-dwelling species.
The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Adults may measure from 16.5 to 27.0 in. in total length, including a tail of 3.7 to 7.4 in. Weights of adult groundhogs typically fall between 4.4 and 13.9 lb. Groundhogs have four incisor teeth which grow 1.5 mm per week. Groundhogs are well-adapted for digging, with short, powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Unlike other sciurids, the groundhog's tail is comparably shorter, only about one-fourth of body length. Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs eat primarily wild grasses and other vegetation, including berries and agricultural crops, when available. In early spring, dandelions and coltsfoot are important groundhog food items.
Beavers live in freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Water is the most important part of the beaver habitat. They have a head-body length of 31–47 in, with a 9.8–19.7 in tail, a shoulder height of 12–24 in and a weight of 24–66 lb. Males and females are almost identical externally. A beaver coat has 77,000–148,000 per in squared and functions to keep the animal warm, to help it float in water, and to protect it against the teeth and claws of predators. Beavers have an herbivorous and a generalist diet. During the spring and summer, they mainly feed on herbaceous plant material such as leaves, roots, herbs, ferns, grasses, sedges, water lilies, water shields, rushes and cattails. During the fall and winter, they eat more bark and cambium of woody plants; tree and shrub species used include aspen, birch, oak, dogwood, willow and alder.
The muskrat is a medium-sized semiaquatic rodent native to North America and an introduced species in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The muskrat is found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. Adult muskrats weigh 1.3–4.4 lb, with a body length of 8–10 in. They are covered with short, thick fur of medium to dark brown color. Their long tails, covered with scales rather than hair, are their main means of propulsion. Muskrats spend most of their time in the water, and can swim under water for 12 to 17 minutes. Plant materials compose about 95% of their diets, but they also eat small animals, such as freshwater mussels, frogs, crayfish, fish, and small turtles.
Copperhead adults grow to a typical length (including tail) of 50–95 cm (20–37 in). Some may exceed 1 m (3.3 ft), although that is exceptional for this species. Males are usually larger than females. Good-sized adult males usually do not exceed 74 to 76 cm (29 to 30 in), and females typically do not exceed 60 to 66 cm (24 to 26 in). The color pattern consists of a pale tan to pinkish-tan ground color that becomes darker towards the foreline, overlaid with a series of 10–18 (13.4) crossbands. Within its range, it occupies a variety of different habitats. In most of North America, it favors deciduous forest and mixed woodlands. It is often associated with rock outcroppings and ledges, but is also found in low-lying, swampy regions.
Rat snakes are members – along with kingsnakes, milk snakes, vine snakes and indigo snakes – of the subfamily Colubrinae of the family Colubridae. They are medium to large constrictors and are found throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere. They feed primarily on rodents. Many species make attractive and docile pets and one, the corn snake, is one of the most popular reptile pets in the world. As with all snakes, they can be defensive when approached too closely, handled, or restrained, but bites are not serious. Like nearly all colubrids, rat snakes pose no threat to humans. Rat snakes were long believed to be completely nonvenomous, but recent studies have shown that some Old World species do possess small amounts of venom, though the amount is negligible relative to humans.
As an adult, a large Cottonmouth is capable of delivering a painful and potentially fatal venomous bite. Adults commonly exceed 31 in. in total length. Though the majority of specimens are almost or even totally black, the color pattern may consist of a brown, gray, tan, yellowish-olive, or blackish ground color, which is overlaid with a series of 10–17 dark brown to almost black crossbands. These crossbands, which usually have black edges, are sometimes broken along the dorsal midline to form a series of staggered half bands on either side of the body. The dorsal banding pattern fades with age, so older individuals are an almost uniform olive-brown, grayish-brown, or black. Eastern populations have a broad, dark, postocular stripe, bordered with pale pigment above and below, that is faint or absent in western populations. The underside of the head is generally whitish, cream, or tan
The eastern brown snake, often referred to as the common brown snake, is a species of highly venomous snake. The adult eastern brown snake is variable in color. Its upper parts range from pale to dark brown, or sometimes shades of orange or russet, with the pigment more richly coloured in the posterior part of the dorsal scales. Eastern brown snakes from Merauke have tan to olive upper parts, while those from eastern Papua New Guinea are very dark grey-brown to blackish.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake species and is one of the heaviest known species of venomous snake. The color pattern consists of a brownish, brownish-yellow, brownish-gray or olive ground color, overlaid with a series of 24–35 dark brown to black diamonds with slightly lighter centers. Each of these diamond-shaped blotches is outlined with a row of cream or yellowish scales. Posteriorly, the diamond shapes become more like crossbands and are followed by 5–10 bands around the tail. The belly is yellowish or cream-colored, with diffused, dark mottling along the sides. The head has a dark postocular stripe that extends from behind the eye backwards and downwards to the lip; the back of the stripe touches the angle of the mouth. Anteriorly and posteriorly, the postocular stripe is bordered by distinct white or yellow stripes.
The timber rattlesnake is a species of venomous pit viper endemic to eastern North America. They have a pattern of dark brown or black crossbands on a yellowish brown or grayish background. The crossbands have irregular zig-zag edges, and may be V-shaped or M-shaped. Often a rust-colored vertebral stripe is present. Ventrally they are yellowish, uniform or marked with black. Melanism is common, and some individuals are very dark, almost solid black.
The pygmy rattlesnake, is a species of venomous snake endemic to the Southeastern United States. The dorsal pattern consists of a series of oval or subcircular spots with reasonably regular edges. The spots on the flanks are mostly round and not much higher than they are wide. Belly pigmentation towards the rear is more limited to indistinct blotches found on pairs of adjacent scales. Juveniles have a color pattern that is similar to the adults, although it may be paler or more vividly marked, and the tip of the tail is yellow.
Eastern Coral Snake
The eastern coral snake is a species of highly venomous coral snake endemic to the southeastern United States. The color pattern consists of a series of rings that encircle the body: wide red and black rings separated by narrow yellow rings. The head is black from the rostral scale to just behind the eyes. The red rings are usually speckled with black. People who live in its natural range are often taught a folk rhyme as children such as: "Red next to black, safe from attack; red next to yellow, you're a dead fellow," or "Red touching black, friend of Jack; red touching yellow, you're a dead fellow", or simply "red and yellow kill a fellow"