32 terms

Common Mammals of Iowa with facts

Includes a few not so common or once common mammals in Iowa. Has taxonomy, diet, habitat, etc.
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Virginia opossum
Order Didelphimorphia
Family Didelphidae
Didelphis virginiana
omnivore
terrestrial - deciduous woodlands, prairies, marshes, farmlands
nocturnal, solitary except repro, 3rd most common harvested fur bearing animal
northern short-tailed shrew
Order Soricomorpha
Family Soricidae
Blarina brevicauda
carnivore (invertebrates and vertebrates), voracious
forested areas, meadows, openings
nocturnal, doesn't use vision, solitary
eastern mole
Order Soricomorpha
Family Talpidae
Scalopus aquaticus
insectivore (grubs, earthworms)
fossorial - moist, sandy soils
burrowing animal (aerate soil, but damage lawns, golf courses), solitary
little brown bat
Order Chiroptera
Family Vespertilionidae
Myotis lucifugus
insectivore
roosts in buildings, trees, under rocks, in wood piles; winter hibernation in caves, abandoned mines
nocturnal
Indiana bat
Order Chiroptera
Family Vespertilionidae
Myotis sodalis
insectivore
summer nurseries under bark of large trees, hibernate in caves
federally endangered
American bison
Order Artiodactyla
Family Bovidae
Bos bison
herbivore
prairies; extirpated from Iowa, now reintroduced to some wildlife areas
eastern cottontail
Order Lagomorpha
Family Leporidae
Sylvilagus floridanus
herbivorous
brushlands, live on edges of town, gardens, flowerbeds, meadows
active during twilight and night
breed prolifically; preyed on by owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes, etc.
thirteen-lined ground squirrel
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae
Spermophilus tridecemlineatus
mostly herbivorous, esp. seeds, also insects,
some small vertebrates
short-grass prairies, underground burrows
diurnal but known to hibernate
eastern gray squirrel
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae
Sciurus carolinensis
mostly herbivorous, esp. nuts, acorns and fruit; other plant parts, also larval and adult insects, amphibians
mature woods, leafy nests in trees, also dens in tree hollows
diurnal, breed year round, mating +/- promiscuous
woodchuck
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae
Marmota monax
herbivorous, green parts of plants; also bark, insects, etc.
woods, fields, hedgerows, dens in well-drained soils
groundhog
eastern fox squirrel
Order Rodentia
Family Sciuridae
Sciurus niger
herbivorous, esp. nuts, acorns, fruits; also insects, etc.
various upland wooded habitats
american beaver
Order Rodentia
Family Castoridae
Castor canadensis
herbivorous - woody and nonwoody vegetation
inhabits burrows or houses built on water
well insulated, webbed hind feet, nictitating membrane (third eyelid), nostrils and ears closable for prolonged underwater swimming, tongue covers soft palate to open mouth in water; trapped for fur
white-footed mouse
Order Rodentia
Family Cricetidae
Peromyscus leucopus
herbivorous
woodland dwellers, also variety of habitats
good climbers (den in hollow trees), nocturnal, breed year round, large # can be destructive
house mouse
Order Rodentia
Family Muridae
Mus musculus
omnivorous - mostly plants
field, along watercourses, dense vegetation, irrigation ditches
commensal animals, nocturnal, prolific year round
coyote
Order Carnivora
Family Canidae
Canis latrans
carnivorous, will eat variety
vary geographically,seasonally, and individually
active throughout day (mostly early morning and sunset), travel w/in territory/home range, dispersal from den, long migration, communicate via calling and scent marking
american black bear
Order Carnivora
Family Ursidae
Ursus americanus
omnivorous - food varied
prefer woodland and forested areas, prefers the ground
northern raccoon
Order Carnivora
Family Procyonidae
Procyon lotor
omnivorous
prefer hardwood-timbered habitats in dens located in trees or rock ledges (even human structures)
nocturnal, adults usually solitary, carry diseases that can be transferred to humans
long-tailed weasel
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae - except Antarctica, Aussie, and some islands
Mustela frenata - excpet N TX
carnivorous - small mammals and other inverts
nest in rotten logs, hollow stumps, under tree roots, holes in ground
polygamous, breed in late summer
striped skunk
Order Carnivora
Family Mephitidae
Mephitis mephitis
omnivorous
constructing dens/homes wherever convenient
nocturnal, gregarious, lives in families, breed early-late spring, few enemies
bobcat
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Lynx rufus
carnivorous - favorite prey is rabbits, known to eat grass though
inhabits wooded areas, sometimes on plains
nocturnal, rely on sight, well-developed smell and hearing; at close range whiskers provide acute touch, stealthy
feral pig
Order Carnivora
Family Suidae - introduced worldwide
Sus scrofa -TX
omnivorous - inverts and vegetation
timbered areas of diverse forests w/ some openings, also some marsh and grass-sedge flats in coastal area
very damaging to wildlife plant domestic communities, breed year round
white-tailed deer
Order Artiodactyla
Family Cervidae
Odocoileus virginianus
herbivorous
primarily in hardwood areas, home range relatively small
active before sunset and after sunrise, polygamous
eastern chipmunk
Order Rodentia
Family Scuridae
Tamias striatus
granivore - mostly nuts, seeds, berries; some insects, etc.
ground dweller in open woods or woodland edges, esp near wood piles, stone walls, etc.
elk
least weasel
gray fox
red fox
mink
badger
river otter
spotted skunk
mountain lion

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