Mammals

Available Topics

Big Cats
Bobcats and mountain lions
Furbearers
Beavers, raccoons, skunk and others

Available Articles

Armadillos in Missouri (466KB)
Although many of our wild creatures have a long history in Missouri, armadillos have only recently arrived. If we're going to host these strange looking animals, we'd best learn as much about them as we can.
Beaver (Castor canadensis)
The beaver is the largest rodent in North America, the adult reaching 4 1/2 feet (1,371 mm) long and weighing up to 90 pounds (40.8 kg).
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
The bobcat is a member of the Cat Family which also includes lions, leopards, tigers, pumas, lynxes, ocelots, jaguars, cheetahs and servals.
Coyote (Canis latrans)
The coyote is extremely doglike; of the various domestic breeds, it most closely resembles a small German shepherd.
Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus)
The cottontail is a medium-sized mammal with long ears; large hind legs; shorter front legs; a short fluffy tail; and soft fur.
Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Fox Squirrel , (Sciurus niger)
Among the members of the Squirrel Family living in Missouri, the Eastern gray and fox squirrels are the most common. Their common names are descriptive of the general coat color-the grayish of one, and the reddish fox coloration of the other.
Fact Sheet on Bats
Bats are superbly adapted creatures that have evolved to exploit resources such as night-flying insects and dark caverns that are unavailable to diurnal and sightseeing animals.
Guide to Missouri Cave Bats
Most published bat keys are based on physical characteristics that can be seen only by handling the bat. No one should handle bats or get too close to them unless one is a biologist conducting research, and trained to handle bats safely, and vaccinated against rabies. It is possible, however, to accurately identify most bats in caves without unduly disturbing them.
Life History Chart of Game, Fur, and Predatory Mammals of Missouri
A chart detailing the life history of the game, fur, and predatory mammals of Missouri.
Mink (Mustela vison)
The common name is traced to the Swedish word manumitted The mink's close relation to the weasel is evident in its scientific name, Mustela vison which is the Latin word for weasel.
Missouri's Mammals
Information on mammals in Missouri.
Mountain Lion (Felis concolor)
The common name, mountain, refers to the general habitat this animal occupies, while lion indicates its relationship to another well-known member of the Cat Family.
Mountain Lions
Mountain lions were once common in Missouri, but their current status is not clear.
Mountain Lions in Missouri
Describes the Mountain lion, it's natural history, and the possibility of sighting one in Missouri.
Mountain Lions in Missouri - Fact or Fiction? (648KB)
Do we have mountain lions in Missouri or not? The short answer is yes, sometimes. But we have far fewer than rumors would lead you to believe
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
The appropriate common name refers to the mild and inoffensive odor of this rodent. Although superficially ratlike in appearance, the muskrat is not a close relative of the despised house rat.
Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
The opossum is a unique Missouri mammal because it is our only representative of a large group of primitive mammals, the pouched mammals or marsupials, that live mostly in Australia.
Otters
Did you know that Missouri has well over 10,000 otters? Learn more about Missouri's otters with these pages.
Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
The common name for this animal is from an Indian word and is variously spelled as arocoun, arakun, arathkone and aroughcun.
Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
There are two species of foxes in Missouri; both are identified by their predominant coloration which gives them part of their common name.
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius)
There are two species of skunks in Missouri, the more familiar striped skunk and the lesser known spotted skunk.
White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
The white-tailed deer is aptly named because the white undersurface of its flaglike tail is about all that we see in the fleeting glimpse we get of this superb mammal as it bounds across an opening in the woods.
Woodchuck (Marmota monax)
The woodchuck (Marmota monax) is one of the best known wild mammals in Missouri, but few realize this rodent is a member of the Squirrel Family. The origin of its other name, groundhog, is obvious from the animal's squat appearance, waddling gait and habit of living in the ground.

External Links

Bat Conservation International
BCI's mission is to teach people the value of bats, to protect and conserve critical bat habitats, and to advance scientific knowledge through research. All this while using a win-win beneficial solution that will benefit both bats and people.
USDA: Information Resources on the North American Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
The purpose of this literature survey is to provide an introduction into the literature with regard to the biology of Didelphis virginiana and to gather together a variety of studies that have focused on this particular species.