What is the difference between groundhog and beaver?
Groundhog and beaver are both rodents. Groundhog is capable of climbing trees and swimming but most of the time they are found resting on the ground. They make their burrows in the fields and other open areas near woodlands.
They both have incisors that continuously grow both on the lower and upper jaw. They have long tails, robust bodies, and short limbs.
The main difference between groundhog and beaver is that groundhogs have short, fluffy tails while beavers have wide, flattened tails.
You May Also Like: Difference between Chipmunk and Gopher
Comparison Table (Groundhog vs Beaver)
|Habitat||They spend most of their time on the ground.||They spend most of their time in water features such as lakes and ponds.|
|Weight||They weigh an averagely of 3 kgs.||They weigh an averagely of 32 kgs.|
|Tails||They have short and fluffy tails.||They have wide and flat tails.|
|Size||They are small in body size.||They are comparatively large in body size.|
|Damage||They dig unsightly holes that pose a tripping hazard.||They may lead to falling tree damage or flooding.|
|Behavior||They are not social animals.||They are very social animals.|
|Parenting||Only the females take care of the young ones for few months before weaning them.||Both parents take care of the young ones for a couple of years.|
What is Groundhog?
Groundhog is a rodent. They have the ability to climb trees and swimming but they prefer staying on the ground most of their time.
They construct their burrows in the fields and other open places near woodlands. They hibernate in the burrows during the winter season.
They are antisocial animals and only come together during mating time. The females stay with the young ones for some time after birth then they live them on their own.
They are herbivores and feed on grass, plants, fruits, and tree barks. Sometimes they disturb farmers by eating farm produce and making their burrows in the farm fields.
During the summer season, they prepare themselves for the next winter season. When in hibernation their body temperature and heartbeat go down.
What is Beaver?
Beavers are rodents but they are second to humans when it comes to the ability to manipulate the environment.
They make their burrows near ponds and lakes. They can also build dams in areas that are not appropriate. They build structures made of logs and mud and this may make them block ponds and lakes.
Their huts can only be entered underwater since they are built in the middle of the water. They are monogamous and social animals. A family consists of parents, kit (babies), and the yearlings (young ones born the previous year).
Both parents take up the responsibility of raising the young ones for a couple of years before allowing them to move on their own.
They are herbivores eating the barks of the trees, leaves, roots, and aquatic plants. They have webbed feet that allow them to easily swim in the water. Their paddle-like tail allows navigation in water.
The tails can also be used for defense as they are strong. They can hit the enemy with the tail or slam in water to cause a water splash.
They have waterproof fur, transparent eyelids, impressive lung capacity that allows them to live in the water comfortably.
You May Also Like: Difference between Porcupine and Hedgehog
Main Differences between Groundhog and Beaver
- Groundhog is anti-social rodents while beaver is social animals.
- Female groundhog takes care of the young ones alone while with beavers both parents take care of the young ones.
- Groundhog spends most of their time on the ground while beavers spend most of their time in ponds and lakes.
- Groundhog is smaller in body size while beavers are comparatively larger in body size.
- Groundhogs have short and fluffy tails while beavers have wide and flattened tails.
- Groundhogs cause damage by digging unsightly holes that may cause tripping hazards while beavers may lead to falling tree damage or flooding while making the burrows in unappropriated areas.
Similarities between Groundhog and Beaver
- They are both rodents
- Both are herbivores.
- Both damage human settlements.
- Both are important in the ecosystem.
- Both give birth to young ones.
Groundhogs and beavers are both rodents. They feed on plant matter hence they are herbivores. Groundhogs prefer living on the ground although they have the ability to swim and climb trees. Beavers make their burrows in the middle of the ponds whereby they access them underwater.
The main feature that makes groundhogs different from beavers is the appearance of their tails.
Sources and references: