Nutria rat.

Real-Life Rodents of Unusual Size

“Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.” This famous quote from Westley in The Princess Bride starts an iconic scene as Princess Buttercup and Westley enter the Fire Swamp. They encounter the giant-ratlike creatures, and since the movie was released, many have wondered—are Rodents of Unusual Size real?

The Real Rodents of Unusual Size

As it turns out, the Rodents of Unusual Size (ROUS) are based on a very real swamp rat named the nutria rat. This rodent can weigh 9-20 lbs and looks like a mixture of a rat and beaver (with a little platypus thrown in for good measure).

If a creature that grows to the size of a medium dog can still be considered a rodent, what other animals fall into that category?

What animals are considered rodents?

The defining characteristic of rodents is their continuously growing pair of incisors, or teeth, in the lower and upper jaws. In fact, the word rodent comes from the Latin word rodere, which means ‘to gnaw’. The rodent family is large and contains about 40% of all known mammal species on Earth. Some animals considered rodents include:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Squirrels
  • Prairie dogs (or groundhogs)
  • Beavers
  • Guinea pigs
  • Gerbils
  • Capybaras

The Largest Rodent in the World

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world—weighing 77-143 pounds and growing up to 2 feet high, capybaras are generally twice as big as beavers. Native to South America, capybaras are strong swimmers and live in groups of up to 40!

Thankfully, you probably won’t have to call pest control for rodents other than mice, rats, squirrels, and other smaller wildlife more familiar to the United States. Because rodents have continuously growing incisors, they need to continually gnaw to grind them down. In your home, that can lead to chewing through cables, walls, and other important areas in your home.

When you need wildlife control, give the experts at Hopper Termite & Pest a call. We develop a plan based on the animal in question and can help you create a prevention plan to keep visitors from entering your home again. Give us a call today at (479) 332-3745!

Categories