Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Neotoma cinerea

Bushy-tailed Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

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Image of Neotoma cinerea
Neotoma cinerea - darker coat on left (cooler climates), lighter coat on right
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Bushy-tailed Woodrats are highly territorial. A male will permit a female in his territory, but not another male. Both males and females mark their territories with a musky substance that can leave both scent and white color on rock ridges. The Woodrats make piles of vegetation and various collected items, and these materials can accumulate into middens of substantial size. The animals defecate and urinate on some of them, and those that bake in the sun can become rock-hard and last for tens of thousands of years. Paleobotanists using information from ancient middens have gained tremendous insight into the botanical history of the vast arid areas inhabited by woodrats.

Also known as:
Bushy-tailed Packrat

Average: 379 mm males; 356 mm females
Range: 310-470 mm males; 272-410 mm females

Average: 337 g males; 275 g females
Range: 181-585 g males; 166-370 g females


Ord, G., 1815.  "Zoology of North America", in Guthrie's Geography, 2nd American edition, pp. 291-361.  [reprint Rhoads, S.N. Philadelphia, 1894], p. 292.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Neotoma cinerea

Image of Neotoma cinerea
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