Rodent

Tiny Things Debut at the SF Zoo!

Earlier this week the San Francisco Zoo introduced some of their newest, and smallest, friends to the public. First we have two baby Emperor tamarin twins who will spend the next few weeks clinging tightly to mom's back. This species gets its name from the regal mustaches of adulthood. Secondly we have a feisty black-tailed prairie dog pup. Prairie dogs are a type of highly social ground squirrel that live in huge "towns" made up of countless individuals across hundreds of miles. They often make "house calls" on neighbors and greet each other by touching noses, which looks an awful lot like Eskimo kisses.

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 1

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 2

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 3

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 2

Kisses for mom!

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 1

Photo credits: Tamarins twins - Amy Hansen, Prairie pups - Marianne Hale


Albino "Carpincho" at M'Bopicua

On Christmas Day, Uruguay's M'Bopicua Breeding Station welcomed two little capybaras, or "carpinchos" as they are known in Spanish. One of the little girls turned out to be an albino and was named "Snow White."  Although she looks suspiciously like a big guinea pig as an infant, as an adult she could grow to be over four feet long and over 230 lbs. (note: an average capybara only weighs around 100 lbs. in adulthood but maybe Snow White will be extra well fed...).

Albino capybara mbopicua 1 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 2 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 3 rs


World's Largest Rodent Has Three Tiny Babies

The Buffalo Zoo welcomed three baby capybaras on September 10th. The zoo tells us that the three babies were running around and even swimming the day they were born. The proud capybara parents have had three previous litters for a total of 20 offspring! Capybaras are the world's largest rodent with the largest recorded size at 232 lbs (105 kg)!

Looking serious...

Baby capybara buffalo zoo 3 

Baby capybara buffalo zoo 4
Photo credits: Buffalo Zoo


Marmots!

The feisty Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada's most endangered mammal with only an estimated 30 living in the wild in 2003. However, institutions like the Calgary and Toronto Zoos launched aggressive breeding and release programs that have since bolstered the wild population to 200 or more. These pups were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 30th and the Toronto Zoo just welcomed a litter this week!


Vancouver island marmot baby and mom


Vancouver island marmot calgary zoo

Photo credits © Oli Gardner


Three little pups peer out of their nesting box


Three little marmots noses

Continue reading "Marmots!" »


Baby Cape Porcupine aka "Prickly Piggy"

This baby Cape porcupine was born June 6th at Switzerland's Zoo Basel. Unusually long-lived for a rodent, Cape porcupines live up to 20 years. Although the English name is hardly any better, we are always amused by the German translations of animal names, in this case the German word for "baby porcupine" roughly translates to "Prickly Piggy." 

Mom has food. Baby prickly pig is intrigued
Baby porcupine zoo basel 1 rs

Baby porcupine zoo basel 1b rs

Perhaps nuzzling will provide access to delicious carrot
Baby porcupine zoo basel 2

Baby porcupine zoo basel 3 rs closeup

Is there delicious carrot in this porcu's future? Tune in next week to find out.

Malagasy Jumping Rat Pup

More closely related to mice than rats, Malagasy jumping rats are highly endangered on their native island of Madagascar. Unlike many of their rodent brethren, Malagasy jumping rats are not prolific breeders, giving birth to only one pup a year, making this new arrival at the Prospect Park Zoo very special.

Baby malagasy jumping rat prospect park zoo


Mamma jumping rat is quite attentive to her rare little pup



Continue reading "Malagasy Jumping Rat Pup" »


What's an Agouti?

Kind of like a guinea pig, but with longer legs, agoutis range between Central and South America and some of the nearby islands. This baby Brazilian agouti was born January 11, 2009 at the the LA Zoo. These rodents are remarkable for their ability to jump up to six feet straight up from a standstill.

Agouti Baby LA Zoo 1 

Agouti Baby & Mom LA Zoo 2

Agoutis tend to eat fallen fruits and nuts as well as succulent plants.  One of the few animals capable of breaking open the pods of the Brazil nut tree, they have a symbiotic relationship with the tree.  After they open the pods, agoutis bury the extra nuts over a wide area.  The seeds that aren’t later retrieved by the agoutis for food will grow into new trees.