IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Brief Summary

Read full entry

Description

"Juniper trees are the main source of food, water, and shelter for Stephen's Woodrat. Like Red Tree Voles, which feed mostly on Douglas-fir, the Woodrats are able to feed primarily on conifer leaves, which contain chemical compounds - tannins and terepenoids - that interfere with digestion in most mammals. Stephen's Woodrats usually nest at or near the base of junipers, in habitats that include rocks and crevices. Fossils and studies of preserved middens indicate that these Woodrats have been associated with junipers for at least 15,000 years. Females of this species can reproduce when they are nine months old, and can produce offspring five times a year. Usually only one young is born at a time, but occasionally there are twins."

Adaptation: "This skull of Stephen's woodrat, Neotoma stephensi, illustrates the typical tooth count for the mouse-like cricetids and many other rodents, which is quite different from most other mammals: one pair of incisors (rather than 2-3 pairs), no canines (rather than 1 pair), no premolars (instead of 3-4), and 3 sets of molars (the norm among placental mammals). Loss of teeth allows rodents to slide the lower jaw far forward as they work the huge incisors, and also while chewing, which is done by sliding the upper and lower jaws together in a fore-and-aft cycle of motion."

Links:
Mammal Species of the World
Click here for The American Society of Mammalogists species account

Trusted

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

Belongs to 0 communities

This taxon hasn't been featured in any communities yet.

Learn more about Communities

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!