Cotton rat

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Cotton rats
Temporal range: Early Pliocene - Recent
Sigmodon hispidus1.jpg
Hispid Cotton Rat
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Sigmodontinae
Tribe: Sigmodontini
Wagner, 1843
Genus: Sigmodon
Say & Ord, 1825
Species

Sigmodon alleni
Sigmodon alstoni
Sigmodon arizonae
Sigmodon fulviventer
Sigmodon hirsutus
Sigmodon hispidus
Sigmodon inopinatus
Sigmodon leucotis
Sigmodon mascotensis
Sigmodon ochrognathus
Sigmodon peruanus
Sigmodon planifrons
Sigmodon toltecus
Sigmodon zanjonensis

A cotton rat is any member of the rodent genus Sigmodon. They are called cotton rats because they build their nests out of cotton, and can damage cotton crops. Cotton rats have small ears and dark coats, and are found in North and South America. Members of this genus are distributed in the Southwestern USA, Mexico, Central America and South American countries of: Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guyana and Suriname. Many of the species are found in Mexico.

They are primarily herbivores. The molars of cotton rats are S-shaped when viewed from above. The genus name literally means S-tooth.

Sigmodon hispidus was the first model organism to be used in polio research.

Classification[edit]

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