Hispid cotton rat Facts

Hispid cotton rat Facts
Hispid cotton rat is a type of American rodent that belongs to the cricetid family. It inhabits coastal marshes, bushy pastures, edges of the agricultural fields and alpine meadows of North, Central and South America. Hispid cotton rat can survive on the altitude of 3.700 feet. Due to prolific nature and ability to thrive in various habitats, hispid cotton rat is not threatened by increased human activity. Hispid cotton rats are widespread and abundant in the wild, except in Kentucky, where they are listed as vulnerable.
Interesting Hispid cotton rat Facts:
Hispid cotton rat can reach 8.8 to 14.3 inches in length (plus 5 inches-long tail) and 3.5 to 7.9 pounds of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Hispid cotton rat is covered with grayish brown to dark brown fur. Bottom side of the body is grayish white colored. Combination of creamy, brown and black hairs on the back create impression of bristly fur, hence the name "hispid rat".
Hispid cotton rat has small ears, stout body and relatively short tail covered with sparse hairs.
Hispid cotton rat is active both during the day and night (usually from the late afternoon until the midnight).
Hispid cotton rat is an omnivore (it consumes both plants and animals). Its diet is mostly based on various types of grass and forbs. Crayfish, insects and eggs and chicks of bobwhite and meadow lark are occasionally on the menu.
Hispid cotton rat is serious agricultural pest. Group of hungry hispid cotton rats can reduce yield of sugarcane, squash, rice, cotton, melon, sweet potato and other commercially important crops for nearly 90%.
Natural enemies of hispid cotton rats are owls, hawks, minks, coyotes, foxes, cats, weasels, raccoons and snakes.
Hispid cotton rats are solitary and territorial animals. They occupy territory of 0.10 (females) to 0.50 hectares (males).
Hispid cotton rats gather in large groups during the cold periods of year to warm each other.
Mating season of hispid cotton rats takes place year round in subtropical and tropical areas and during the summer in areas with temperate climate.
Older males are dominant and they mate with more females compared to young males.
Females construct fibrous, ball-shaped nests made of grass under the fallen trees and rocks or inside abandoned burrows of moles and pocket gopher.
Females produce 3 to 4 litters per year. Pregnancy lasts 27 days and ends with 3 to 8 babies (5 on average).
Babies depend on the mother's milk until the age of 3 weeks. Young hispid cotton rats reach sexual maturity at the age of 35 to 40 days, much before they attain adult size (at the age of 5 months).
Hispid cotton rat can survive 6 months (rarely 12 months) in the wild and up to 5 years in the captivity.

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