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are a groundhog and a woodchuck the same thing

by Mandy Schiller Published 5 months ago Updated 3 weeks ago


  1. A groundhog is very similar to a woodchuck – they are basically the same animal, the only difference being the name. ...
  2. Since groundhogs and woodchucks are the same, they belong to the same classification of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. ...
  3. Groundhogs are routine hibernators during the winter season. ...

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Groundhogs are also referred to as woodchucks or whistle pigs. They are a member of the squirrel family. There are six species of woodchucks and marmots
Marmots are large ground squirrels in the genus Marmota, with 15 species living in Asia, Europe, and North America. › wiki › Marmot
that occur in the United States.

Full Answer

What is the difference between a gopher and Groundhog?

Difference Between Gopher and Groundhog Definition. Gopher refers to a burrowing rodent with fur-lined pouches on the outside of the cheeks, found in North and Central America, while groundhog refers to a small North American mammal with short legs and rough, red-brown fur. Thus, this is the main difference between gopher and groundhog ...

How dangerous is a woodchuck?

The woodchuck, also known as the groundhog, is a common critter seen in and around gardens. They are notorious for their impressive underground tunneling system and their desire to have your prized sunflowers for dinner. While they may be a pest, the woodchuck is not a dangerous animal for the most part.

Is a gopher the same as a groundhog?

The main difference between Gophers and Groundhogs is that Gophers belong to the Geomyoidae family, and Groundhogs on the other hand belong to the Marmot group of rodents. Both these families contain entirely different groups of animals, which have completely different lifestyles.

How dangerous are groundhogs?

Why groundhogs are hard to get rid of

  • Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are found all over central and eastern US.
  • They dig burrows in grassy areas and are known to eat through gardens.
  • They're hard to get rid of because they are aggressive animals, and can have rabies.
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Why is a Groundhog Called a Woodchuck?

Groundhogs are likely called woodchucks due to the indigenous people’s name for this unique creature . The Algonquin people called groundhogs “wuchak”, and this name was likely adapted by the English settlers living in North America at the time. Groundhogs do not chuck wood, as their alternative name suggests, nor do they spend their time eating wood.

Where Do Groundhogs Live?

Groundhogs or woodchucks live throughout North America. They can handle humid summers in the South as well as freezing winters in the North, and live in areas as far north as Canada and Alaska. They can live in so many different places due to their insulating coats as well as their ability to burrow and make tunnels underground.

How Long Do Woodchucks Live?

Woodchucks live an average of 5-6 years in the wild, but they have been known to live even longer in captivity. Some groundhogs have lived over 20 years, if not more, but it is difficult to say exactly how old some of these groundhogs have been. For example, the most famous groundhog around, Puxatawney Phil, has been around for decades. However, it is extremely unlikely that the same groundhog has played this role for all of these years!

What is a groundhog called?

The groundhog is also known as a woodchuck. Depending on the area they are also known as whistle-pig or land-beaver. The groundhog belongs to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. The burrows that they dig are used for sleeping, raising young and for hibernating.

What is a woodchuck called?

Woodchucks or groundhogs are also known as Whistle pigs, especially in the Appalachian area of the United States. This name is explained by the high-pitched whistle sound emitted by groundhogs to alert other members of the colony to danger. Groundhogs typically reserve this call when they sense predators like coyotes and foxes .

Why are groundhogs called land beavers?

Groundhogs occasionally go by the name land-beaver due to the shared characteristics they have with beavers, namely their appearance as large furry brown rodents. However, there are many differences between woodchucks and beavers.

How Did the Groundhog/Woodchuck Get Its Name?

This name was thought to originally be spaced into two words (groundhog) since it roots through the ground , and “hog” was used not to mean swine, but rather just “animal.”

Where do woodchucks live?

Woodchucks are naturally found across the United States, but primarily in the Eastern and Midwestern areas, and as far south as Georgia. They also dwell in Southeastern Alaska and some parts of the lower half of Canada. While they’re not found much in the Western part of the United States, you can find the groundhog’s close cousins: the prairie dog and the alpine marmot.

What is the scientific order of the Eastern Groundhog?

Scientific Family and Order. The Eastern groundhog is scientifically known as the Marmota monax. The name “groundhog” is misleading since they definitely are not in the hog family. Instead, groundhogs are related to the squirrel family, known as Sciuridae, which also includes prairie dogs and chipmunks. The classified order, which is broader ...

How to keep woodchucks out of my house?

How to Keep Woodchucks Out. If your garden or home is being ravaged by woodchucks, there are a couple of ways of getting rid of them or just keeping the animals out of your property. Build a fence. Since groundhogs are excellent diggers and can burrow anywhere from 2-6 feet underground.

How deep do groundhogs hibernate?

Overall, groundhogs do well in warmer climates, which is why they hibernate during winters in complex tunnel systems that are up to 6 feet deep ( 1.8 m) and 20 feet (6m) long. Abandoned tunnels are often used by snakes, rabbits, or owls, but are nuisances to livestock.

Why do groundhogs eat?

Before hibernation, a groundhog will eat continually to preserve fat, since they lose a large portion of their body fat while hibernating.

What are the brown rodents called?

Written by Zack DeAngelis in General Info, Uncategorized, Woodchucks (Groundhogs) Many of the brown, rodent-like animals that are commonly found in North America may seem the same – beavers, groundhogs, and prairie dogs all exhibit similar behavior. You might hear someone call one of these animals a “woodchuck” or a “whistle-pig.”.

What is the name of the groundhog?

The word “woodchuck” is associated with the groundhog due to fact that the Algonquian name for the groundhog is “wuchack. ”. From there, it evolved into “woodchuck.”. It has been the subject of a famous tongue twister and a day dedicated to the animal.

Where do groundhogs live?

Groundhogs or woodchucks are common in North American areas such as the United States, Canada, and Alaska. Unlike their fellow marmots, they are lowland creatures with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws for digging. Their spine is curved, and they have two coats of fur.

Why are groundhogs so famous?

Groundhogs are famous because they are one of the few animals that undergo complete hibernation during the winter season. During the summer, groundhogs eat all season to accumulate body fat.

Why do groundhogs whistle?

A high-pitched whistle from the outside is an indication of an incoming predator and danger. The groundhog can also produce other sounds like low barks as well as a sound produced by grinding its teeth. The word “woodchuck” is associated with the groundhog due to fact that the Algonquian name for the groundhog is “wuchack.”.

What animals can you find in a groundhog's burrow?

Aside from being a hibernation spot, a groundhog’s burrows are also the ideal place for sleeping, raising young groundhogs, and escaping predators like wolves, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, bears, large hawks, owls, and dogs. A groundhog’s burrow has a number of entrances and exits, which makes it a perfect escape route from predators.

Do woodchucks and groundhogs have the same characteristics?

2.Since groundhogs and woodchucks are the same, they belong to the same classification of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species. They also have the same appearance, behavior, diet, and other characteristics. 3.Groundhogs are routine hibernators during the winter season.

Do groundhogs hibernate in the winter?

3.Groundhogs are routine hibernators during the winter season. They accumulate food to turn into fat during the summer, sleep and hibernate during the winter, and stay awake during spring. Spring is also the breeding season for groundhogs.

Groundhogs vs. Woodchucks

We are here to see the battle between groundhogs and woodchucks. Who’s more powerful? Whose family is better and how do they do their living? What is the difference between a groundhog and a woodchuck as they look the same? Let’s have a look!

Wrap Up

In short, an easy method of telling you the difference between groundhogs and woodchucks is nothing. There are no basic differences between these two rodent species. They are the same, just like your first name and the last.

Quick summary

Gophers and groundhogs are both types of burrowing rodents and are both found across North America, but they’re different animals. Groundhogs are bigger and stockier and they hibernate in the winter, unlike gophers, which have special cheek pouches. The word woodchuck is simply another name for a groundhog.

gopher vs. groundhog

The term gopher is used for a very wide variety of relatively small, burrowing rodents. The name is most commonly used to refer to the pocket gopher, which is found throughout North and Central America, particularly in the prairie region. The name gopher is also sometimes applied to certain ground squirrels found in Europe (also called susliks ).

groundhog vs. woodchuck

Woodchuck and groundhog are simply two different names for the same animal. Both terms have been used in English since the 1600s.

Where do the words groundhog, woodchuck, and gopher come from?

The first records of the words groundhog and woodchuck in English both come from the mid-1600s. The word groundhog may come from an English loan translation of a compound Dutch term meaning “earth pig.”

What is the color of groundhogs?

They’re typically brown in color with dark brown or black feet. Groundhogs are sometimes confused with beavers, prairie dogs, marmots, and badgers. Groundhogs have a few distinguishing features to separate them from these animals, such as their tail shape, solitary nature, and white guard hairs that give them a ‘frosted’ appearance.

How big do groundhogs get?

The largest groundhog chunks can weigh up to fifteen pounds and reach a length of over two feet.

Why Repel Groundhogs?

Evidence of a groundhog in your yard will be pretty obvious. Their burrows are typically ten to twelve inches in diameter, so it would be hard to confuse them with a mouse, rabbit, or other small, burrowing mammal.

Why do groundhogs smell putrescent eggs?

The smell sends a message to the groundhog that big predators might be nearby and sends them scurrying away.

What to use to deter groundhogs from a garden?

Things like garlic, black pepper, onion, mustard, and hot sauce can be used to deter groundhogs from your yard and garden.

What animals burrow in the ground?

With that being said, there are similar-sized animals that also burrow, such as skunks and raccoons. Believe it or not, skunks and raccoons typically use abandoned groundhog burrows for themselves and rarely dig their own burrows. Lazy, right?

Where do groundhogs live?

Groundhog, woodchuck, whistle pig, whatever you may call them, are common mammals found in the eastern United States and Canada. They usually don’t cause too much damage or fuss but have the potential to create problems when they burrow or when they find your prized garden. If you’re dealing with a groundhog problem, there are a few scents and smells you can use to deter them.

What is a woodchuck?

Woodchucks have a reputation for being troublesome pests that are hard to eradicate. They consume foods grown by farmers and gardeners, while their burrowing habits can undermine homes, decks and porches. While many people use the term gopher to describe woodchucks, some people refer to the 35 species of rodents of the family Geomyidae as pocket ...

How many species of gophers are there?

While many people use the term gopher to describe woodchucks, some people refer to the 35 species of rodents of the family Geomyidae as pocket gophers. Pocket gophers live a subterranean lifestyle as woodchucks do, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web, but they are smaller than woodchucks are. Large pocket gopher species may reach 2 to 3 pounds in weight. Pocket gophers derive their name from the pockets inside their cheeks, which the tunneling rodents use to carry food.


How Did The Groundhog/Woodchuck Get Its Name?

  • Groundhogs are marmots and are related to the group of larger land squirrels (Order Rodentia; Family Sciuridae; Genus Marmota). How are they different from squirrels, and what do groundhogs look like? The most noticeable feature on groundhogs is their upper incisor teeth ar…
See more on

The Origins of The Groundhog

The History of Groundhog Day

Groundhogs as Pests

Other Members of The Squirrel/Weasel Family

Wrapping It Up

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