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Groundhog Facts

A land-beaver belonging to the beaver family

  • Groundhogs are large ground squirrels known as marmots.
  • They are widely distributed in North America and common in the northeastern and central United States.
  • The groundhog is the largest sciurid in its geographical range.
  • They are well adapted for digging, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws.
  • They can live up to six years, with two or three being average.
  • Mostly herbivorous, they primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation, including berries and agricultural crops, when available.
  • They are excellent burrowers, using burrows for sleeping, rearing young, and hibernating.
  • They usually breed in their second year, but a small proportion may breed in their first.
  • Groundhog Day is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early.
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