Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lemming

Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in or near the Arctic.

Together with the voles and muskrats, they make up the subfamily Arvicolinae (also known as Microtinae), which forms part of the largest mammal radiation by far, the superfamily Muroidea, which also includes the rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils.

Lemmings mostly weigh 30 to 112 grams (1–4 oz) and are about 7 to 15 centimetres (2.75 – 6 in) long.

They usually have long, soft fur and very short tails.

They are herbivorous, feeding mostly on leaves and shoots, grasses, and sedges in particular, but also roots and bulbs in some cases.

Like many rodents' teeth, their incisors grow continuously, allowing them to exist on much tougher forage than would otherwise be possible.

While many people believe that lemmings commit mass suicide when they migrate, this is not actually the case.

Lemmings will often migrate in large groups and as a result some lemmings will occasionally be pushed off cliffs or drowned in bodies of water simply by the press of their compatriots but such deaths are unintentional and incidental.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Lemming", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins