Northern bog lemming

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Northern Bog Lemming
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Synaptomys
Species: S. borealis
Binomial name
Synaptomys borealis
(Richardson, 1828)

The northern bog lemming (Synaptomys borealis) is a small North American lemming. This is one of two species in genus Synaptomys, the other being the southern bog lemming.

They have cylindrical bodies covered with long grey or brown fur with pale grey underparts. There is a patch of rust-coloured hair at the base of the ears. They have small eyes, a hairy snout and a short tail. They have 16 teeth and their upper incisors are grooved. They are 13 cm long with a 2 cm tail and weigh about 30 g.

These animals are found in wet northern forests, bogs, tundra, and meadows in Canada, Alaska, northern Washington, and New England. They feed on grasses, sedges, other green vegetation and mosses, also snails and slugs. Their droppings are green. Predators include owls, hawks, mustelids, and snakes.

Female lemmings have 2 or 3 litters of 4 to 6 young in a year. The young are born in a nest in an underground burrow or concealed in vegetation.

They are active year round, day and night. They make runways through the surface vegetation and also dig underground burrows. They burrow under the snow in winter. These animals are often found in small colonies. Lemming populations go through a 3 or 4 year cycle of boom and bust.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Reichel, J.D. & Hammerson, G.) (2008). Synaptomys borealis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 10 Jule 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.