| Throughout their range, woodrats, like all small rodents, have to contend with a variety of predators. Larger mammals, including badgers, coyotes, foxes, and bobcats, hunt them. So do owls, hawks, snakes, and even gila monsters. The woodrats' best protection comes from plants. They live in dry habitats covered with dense, thorny scrub and cactus, and build their nests in the midst of such plants, or in rock crevices. They build their dens of plant material they can eat if necessary. Woodrats also persist because in many parts of their range they can breed year-round. Their gestation period is about 38 days, and females may have several litters a year. The 2 or 3 young open their eyes and begin nibbling on cactus when they are about 17 days old. Soon after this, they stop nursing and join the adult woodrat community.
Males slightly heavier than females
Total Length: 328 mm
Total Length: 282-400 mm
224 g males; 188 g females
Merriam, C.H., 1894. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 9:120.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).