Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States that is home to many species of land mammals. In this article we look at which mammals live in the state of Missouri.
Missouri is home to just over forty species of mammals. Some of the largest mammals in North America such as the American bison and the elk have recently been reintroduced into Missouri.
For more information on which mammals live in Missouri please read on.
The American bison is a large species of mammal from North America. They are also commonly called the American buffalo, although this is not quite correct.
Their color is dark brown and gets darker in summer and lighter in winter. They measure from 2 to 2.8 m and weigh from 318 to 1,000 kg.
The bison is a herbivore and eats grasses and sedges. They live in river valleys, grasslands, semi-arid lands, prairies, and plains.
Their lifespan is 15 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. They are no longer classed as an endangered species.
Bison have recently been reintroduced into the state of Missouri.
The American badger is one of many carnivorous North American mammals. Their color is dark gray with a white stripe on its back, white patches on its eyes, and a white underbody.
The American badger measures from 60 to 75 cm and weighs from 6.3 to 8.6 kg. This carnivore eats mice, squirrels, groundhogs, moles, marmots, and prairie dogs.
They live in grasslands, prairies, marshes, and farms. Their lifespan is four to fourteen years in the wild and twenty six in captivity.
The North American beaver can reach up to 32 kg, with 20 kilograms being the average weight. They can measure 74-90cm, excluding the tail which adds a further 25-30 cm.
They beaver is the largest rodent in North America and are semi-aquatic. They have a transparent third eyelid allowing them to see underwater.
Beavers play an important role in the environment and are a keystone species. They are well known for building dams, canals, and lodges. They construct dams to flood areas to obtain access to food and protection.
They live in colonies, and have orange teeth due to the amount of iron they contain. This makes their teeth stronger than regular teeth.
The beaver is a herbivore and eats bark, cambium, roots, buds, and water plants. The North American beaver lives in forests (near water bodies) in the northern parts of North America, with a lifespan between 10 to 15 years.
American Black Bear
The American black bear is a midsize mammal from North America. Their color is not always black but can be brown, tan, or even blonde.
They measure from 130 to 190 cm and weigh from 200 to 300 kg. The black bear is an omnivore and has a varied diet. This consists mostly of fish, mammals, insects, grasses, roots, and berries.
This black bear is broadly distributed in forest habitats, with an average lifespan of twenty years.
The American mink can be found in northern regions of North America. The color varies from brown to black, and they have a white patch on the throat.
They measure from 31 to 45 cm and weigh from 400 to 1580 g. Their lifespan is three to four years in the wild and ten years in captivity.
American mink are carnivores eating muskrats, snakes, mice, fish, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, and frogs. They live in wet areas like swamps and marshlands or near water bodies.
American Red Squirrel
The red squirrel is a small, solitary, and diurnal animal. Their color is gray, red or dark brown, with white on its underbody, and sometimes has black stripes on its sides.
They measure from 28 to 35 cm (including the tail) and weighs from 200 to 282 g.
The red squirrel eats sunflower seeds and all types of nuts. They are arboreal, living in coniferous, deciduous, and mixed forests, with a lifespan of 5 to 10 years.
Big Brown Bat
The big brown bat is an insectivore that eats mostly beetles, but also consumes other flying insects like moths, flies, and wasps.
They live in all types of habitats, with a lifespan ranging from 18 to 20 years. This animal carries a lot of diseases, including rabies and parasites such as tapeworms and fleas.
The big brown bat is a small, nocturnal flying mammal. They live in colonies and uses echolocation to locate objects while flying at night. The color varies from brown to black.
They measure from 11 to 13 cm, with a wingspan from 32 to 40 cm, and it weighs from 15 to 26 g.
The species of bat lives in North America and the Carribean.
The bobcat is a nocturnal and elusive, midsize wildcat related to the lynx. Their appearance is like a big domestic cat with a bobbed tail.
Their color can range from grayish brown to red, with a white underbody. They measure from 47 to 125 cm and weigh from 8 to 9 kg.
The bobcat is a carnivore and eats raccoons, squirrels, rodents, rabbits, birds, reptiles, skunks, and sometimes even deer.
They have extraordinary night vision and can live in all types of habitats across the central section of North America. Their lifespan ranges from 10 to 12 years.
The cougar is a solitary, elusive, and mostly nocturnal wildcat. They are also known as the puma, mountain lion, and catamount.
Their color is grayish-brown with white on the underbody. Cougars measure about 2.4 m long (including a long tail) and weigh from 53 to 100 kg.
Cougars are carnivores with their main prey being deer. They will also prey on elk, coyotes, mountain goats, beavers, moose, and wild sheep. Smaller cougars will prey on smaller mammals than larger cougars.
They can live in an enormous range of habitats in North America. They have a lifespan that ranges between 8 to 13 years.
The coyote is a midsize canine, with the look of a domestic dog, and are thinner and smaller than the gray wolf. Their color is grayish-brown with a white underbody.
Coyotes measure about 1.5 m (including the tail) and weigh from 6.8 to 21 kg. Their lifespan ranges from ten to fourteen years in the wild and up to twenty one years in captivity.
Coyotes are adaptable and have an extremely varied omnivorous diet. Their diet includes cactus fruits, flowers, insects, rodents, rabbits, birds, and reptiles.
The deer mouse is a small and reclusive rodent. Their color (which resembles that of a deer) varies from gray to brown, with a white underbody.
They measure from 8 to 10 cm (without the tail) and weigh about 20g.
The deer mouse is an omnivore feeding on a wide variety of foods, such as seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects.
They live in many different habitats including forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, and tropical regions throughout most of North America.
Their lifespan is eight years in captivity and less than a year in the wild. They can carry viruses and bacteria that cause diseases to humans, such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS).
The Eastern chipmunk is a solitary animal. Their color is reddish-brown with two white stripes surrounded by black stripes on the side of its back and head, with a fifth black stripe running across the center of its back. The chipmunks underbody has a lighter brown color.
They measure about 30 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 66 to 150 g.
The Eastern chipmunk is an omnivore that eats acorns, insects, eggs, mushrooms, snails, nuts, fruits, seeds, berries, and corn.
They like to live in rocky areas, logs, and bushes in deciduous forests and urban parks. They live in the eastern United States and Southeast Canada, with a lifespan of three years.
The Eastern cottontail is a solitary, mostly nocturnal rabbit that lives in the southeast of the United States, and parts of Central and South America.
Their color varies from reddish-brown to grayish brown, with a white underbody. They measure about 37 cm and weigh about 1.2 kg.
The Eastern cottontail is a herbivore that eats various grasses, branches, bark, clover, fruits, and vegetables. Their habitat is mainly grasslands. Their lifespan is three years in the wild and eight years in captivity.
The Eastern mole is a solitary, midsize mammal from the eastern United States. Their color is dark gray. They measure from 14 to 18 cm and weigh from 40 to 50 g.
The Eastern mole is a carnivore and eats worms, insects, larvae, mice, bugs, and small birds.
Eastern moles live in grasslands and thin forests, with an expected lifespan of six years.
The Eastern mole digs tunnels in search of food. Although they control the number of insects in a given location they can cause damage to gardens and yards.
The Eastern woodrat can be found in areas that are wooded where they live in the brush, hedgerows and outcrops.
Their dens can grow very large, with dens up to five feet recorded. The dens are home to only one woodrat at a time, but other woodrats will use the den afterwards.
Woodrats will add sticks and other parts to the den which causes their huge size. Females will nest together when they have their young.
The Eastern woodrat has many predators including snakes, weasels, coyotes, skunks and owls.
Males can grow up to 450mm in length including the tail with a weight of 385g. Females are slightly smaller.
The elk is one of the largest members of the deer family. They live in the United States and southern Canada.
Their color varies from tan to dark brown. They measure from 2.1 to 2.4 m in length and weigh between 220 to 330 kg.
The elk is a herbivore that eats grass, leaves, bark, and brushwood. They live mainly in forests, and have an expected lifespan of ten to thirteen years in the wild.
Elk have recently been reintroduced into the state of Missouri.
The gray fox is a solitary fox that lives in the southern part of the United States and Mexico.
Their back has a scattered combination of light and dark gray with sides of reddish-brown and an underbody of white.
They measure from 76 to 112.5 cm and weigh from 3.6 to 7kg. Their lifespan is sixteen years in the wild and up to twenty years in captivity.
The gray fox is an omnivore and eats mice, birds, voles, rabbits, insects, corn, fruits, nuts, and berries.
They live in dense forests, in areas with rocky terrain or thick vegetation.
The Eastern gray squirrel is a diurnal and solitary animal. The color varies from gray to grayish red, and the underbody is white.
The Eastern gray squirrel measures from 23 to 30 cm (including the tail) and weigh 400 to 600 g.
The Eastern gray squirrel is an omnivore and eats nuts, acorns, insects, berries, bird eggs, and seeds.
The Eastern gray squirrel is an adaptable animal that lives in the trees on the Eastern side of North America. They have an expected lifespan of six years.
Hispid Cotton Rat
The hispid cotton rat can be found in the southern states of North America. They grow up to 340 mm long with a tail up to 120mm, with a weight up to 225 grams.
The hispid cotton rat lives in tall-grass areas, nesting in underground burrows or in clumps of grass or piles of brush above ground.
They construct globe-like nests, which are about 12 cm in diameter made up of weeds and grasses.
They feed on plant material, but will also eat the eggs of birds that are ground-nesting.
They are rated as least concern due to large litters which can be up to ten but on average are five.
They can give birth to as many as nine litters a year, with a gestation period of 27 days.
Hispid Pocket Mouse
The hispid pocket mouse is 190 to 237 mm in length and weighs between 35 to 60 grams.
This species of rodent is one of the biggest among all the pocket mice.
The hispid pocket mouse can be found in the regions of the Central Plains, spanning from North Dakota to central Mexico and west of the Missouri river around the Rocky Mountains.
The hispid pocket mouse can be found in rocky soils and usually avoid dunes.
The least shrew is from the eastern United States and southeastern Mexico.
Their color varies from gray to brown with a lighter color on the underbody. They measure from 7 to 9 cm and weigh from 4 to 7g.
The least shrew eats carcasses, seeds, fruits, and insects, and live in grasslands with forest edges. Their lifespan is one year in the wild and 2.6 years in captivity.
Little Brown Bat
The little brown bat is a small North American bat. Their colors vary from light tan to dark brown, with a lighter color on its underbody.
The little brown bat measures from 8 to 9.5 cm and weighs from 5.5 to 12.5g.
This insectivore eats mosquitoes, moths, and beetles. The little brown bats live in most of North America.
They will find any place to roost during the day, such as trees, caves, and rocks. In winter, this bat hibernates in caves. Their lifespan is from 6 to 7 years.
The long-tailed weasel is a fearless, aggressive hunter. They are also known as the bridled weasel or the big stoat.
Their color is reddish-brown with a light yellow underbody, but in cold northern regions they are completely white.
The long-tailed weasel measures from 23 to 35 cm and weighs from 85 to 267 g. They are carnivores and can attack animals that are twice their size.
They eat mostly mice, voles, rabbits, chipmunks, birds, eggs, and insects.
They live in grasslands and thin forests in sub-tropical areas with mild temperatures in the southern states of North America. Their lifespan is up to five years.
Marsh Rice Rat
The marsh rice rat, as its name suggests, normally inhabits marshy areas. They can also be found where there is an adequate food supply of grasses and sedges.
The marsh rice rat needs a habitat where they can find protective cover.
They are approximately 245mm in length and weigh up to 70g.
They are omnivores, eating equal amounts of plant and animal matter to make up their diet. They eat marsh grasses, rice, fungus and green vegetation.
The animal part of their diet consists of insects, small crabs, fish, snails and other small animals.
Meadow Jumping Mouse
The meadow jumping mouse is a solitary and mostly nocturnal North American rodent. They can jump 8 feet or more when they are disturbed.
Their color is light brown, with a thick dark brown stripe on its back and a white underbody. They are a small-sized rodent with very long tails and feet. They measure from 18 to 24 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 11.5 to 35 g.
The meadow jumping mouse is an omnivore eating mostly seeds, insects, and fruits.
The meadow jumping mouse lives mostly in grasslands, thin forests and humid areas in the northern part of North America.
Their lifespan is less than a year in the wild, but up to five years in captivity.
The meadow vole is a small, mostly nocturnal rodent. They are also known as other names such as the field mouse or meadow mouse.
Their colors vary from yellowish or reddish-brown to dark brown, and the underbody is gray. They measure about 12 cm and weigh about 43g.
This herbivore eats grasses, weeds, grains, seeds, bark, roots, and fruits. They live in dense grasslands and thin forests in the northern part of North America (except for the most intense polar regions).
The meadow vole is an excellent swimmer and are also good at digging holes.
Their lifespan ranges from 2 to 16 months. Some people consider them a pest because they cause great damage to plants, and also carry similar diseases as other rodents.
The muskrat is the only species of the genus Ondatra. The muskrat is a midsize, mostly nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent from North America. Their colors vary from brown to black, with a lighter underbody.
Muskrats measure from 40 to 70 cm and weigh from 600 grams up to 2 kg. Their lifespan is 3 to 4 years.
The muskrat is an omnivore and eats aquatic vegetation, farm and garden plants, roots, pondweed, fruits, vegetables, snails, salamanders, crustaceans, fish, and birds.
They live in wetlands in the northern part of North America. They are considered as a pest because of the destruction it causes in the places where they live and the diseases that they can carry.
The fur of the muskrat is thick and short of a dark-brown color. Their tails are covered with scales which help them swim rapidly and with ease.
Muskrats spend the majority of their time in the water and can swim underwater for up to 17 minutes. This species usually lives in a group made up of a male, female and their offspring.
Muskrats make nests to protect themselves from the cold temperatures and predators. The nests are usually burrows with an underwater entrance.
The nine-banded armadillo is also called the long-nosed armadillo. They usually weigh between 2.5 to 6.5 kg and can reach 38-58cm in length.
They live in various habitats from forests to more arid areas. Nine-banded armadillos do not have a strong tolerance to cold-weather but can survive in colder temperatures for several days by remaining in a burrow.
They are mainly nocturnal and solitary animals. Nine-banded armadillos are mainly insectivores, but can sometimes eat small amphibians and reptiles.
Unlike the three-banded armadillo, this species cannot roll itself into a ball but can jump high when disturbed.
Northern River Otter
The river otter is a smart, semiaquatic mammal found in the northern states.
The river otter has short, very dense fur. Their colors vary from gray to brown, with a lighter underbody.
They measure from 66 to 107 cm and weighs from 5 to 14 kg.
River otters are carnivores eating fish, turtles, frogs, crayfish, and insects.
They live in aquatic habitats in the northern part of North America. Their lifespan is eight to nine years in the wild and fifteen to twenty years in captivity.
Northern Short-tailed Shrew
The Northern short-tailed shrew is a mammal found in the northern parts of North America.
Their color is dark gray, with a lighter shade of gray on the underbody. They measure from 11 to 14 cm and weigh from 15 to 30 g.
The Northern short-tailed shrew is a carnivore eating insects, salamanders, worms, mice, snails, seeds, voles, and fungi.
They can live in many habitats, including grasslands and deciduous and coniferous forests, with an expected lifespan of 1 to 3 years.
The raccoon is a nocturnal midsize mammal. Their color is gray, brown or black. They have a white face with a black mask around its eyes.
They measure from 40 to 70 cm and weigh from 5 to 26 kg.
The raccoon is an opportunistic omnivore eating fruit, plants, oak nuts, insects, worms, rodents frogs, nuts, eggs, and crayfish.
Raccoons live in forests, suburban, and urban areas in the Central and southern states of North America. The average lifespan of a raccoon is two to three years.
The red fox is a midsize fox that lives in the northern region of North America.
The color varies from light yellow to red, with dark legs, and a white underbody. They measure from 45 to 90 cm and weigh from 2.2 to 14 kg. Their lifespan is between two to five years.
The red fox is an omnivore eating grasses, fruits, corn, apples, oak nuts, cherries, berries, mice, birds, rabbits, squirrels, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and crayfish.
The red fox lives in forests, grasslands, mountains, deserts, and suburban areas.
The silver-haired bat is a nocturnal, solitary mammal from the central part of North America. They use echolocation when flying to guide them and to find food.
Their color is normally black, but can sometimes be dark brown, with gray tips to their fur.
They measure about 10 cm and weighs from 8 to 12 g. This insectivore eats flies, leafhoppers, moths, mosquitoes, beetles, bugs and ants, which they find in forest habitats.
Their average lifespan is 12 years, and they migrate to warmer climates in winter.
Southern Bog Lemming
The Southern bog lemming is a small mammal from eastern regions of North America.
Their color varies from red to dark brown, and light gray on the underbody.
They measure about 13 cm long and weigh about 35 g.
The Southern bog lemming eats plants, seeds, stems, and leaves. They live in grasslands, moist areas, deciduous and coniferous forests, wetlands, and marshes. Their lifespan is 29 months.
Southern Flying Squirrel
The Southern flying squirrel is a nocturnal mammal that glides from one tree to the next with the aid of membranes between its front and hind legs.
They live in the western regions of North America. Their color is grayish brown, with a white underbody.
They measure from 21 to 26cm (including the tail) and weigh from 45 to 82g.
The Southern flying squirrel is an omnivore and eats nuts, seeds, spiders, acorns, fungi, eggs, insects, shrubs, buds, mushrooms, flowers, and fruits.
These squirrels have gray fur and whitish color in their bellies. To glide through the air, they use a furry membrane called patagium that extends between the front and rear legs.
This species of flying squirrel is found in deciduous and mixed woods in the eastern regions of North America, from southeastern Canada to Florida.
They have a lifespan of five to six years in the wild and ten years in captivity.
The Eastern spotted skunks are a small-sized species of skunk that can found inhabiting the Great Plains and Southeastern Woodlands. They can also be found in Canada and the northeastern regions of Mexico.
The Eastern spotted skunk typically measures between 46 and 68 cm in body length and their body range spans between 0.2 and 1.8 kilograms. Males are usually bigger than females.
Eastern spotted skunks have four stripes on their back which are broken in a pattern, giving a spotted appearance from which their name comes from.
They are more active compared to other species of skunks. Their main predators are mostly big cats, owls, and bobcats.
During wintertime, up to eight skunks can share a burrow underground. Eastern spotted skunks are quite secretive and rare for humans to spot.
They do not hibernate but tend to reduce their activity during the winter season.
The striped skunk is a mostly nocturnal species of skunk found in the central states of North America.
Their color can be black, gray, or brown but always has a white stripe on their back running from head to tail.
They measure from 52 to 77 cm and weigh between 1.8 to 4.5 kg. Striped skunks are omnivores and eat crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, mice, voles, eggs, and small birds.
The striped skunk lives in open areas such as grasslands or thin forests in southern Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico. Their lifespan is up to seven years.
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel, also known as the striped gopher, leopard ground squirrel or squinny is a species of rodent that inhabits grasslands and prairies of North America.
The name comes from the thirteen lines (sometimes broken into spots) alternating white and brown on the back and sides of these squirrels.
They usually measure about 170 to 297 mm in body length and weigh approximately 110 to 270 grams. Thirteen lined squirrels are diurnal and are especially active on warm days.
They are solitary and feed on grass, weed, seeds and insects. These include caterpillars, grasshoppers, and crickets. They will also feed on mice and shrews, although this is rare.
The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America. Their habitats can vary and are one of the species to thrive in urban areas. They prefer living close to water sources.
This medium-sized animal measures between 13-37cm in length and can weigh between 0.3-3.7 kg.
They have rather short legs and typically gray or brownish fur.
This animal is known to act as if they are dead as protection against predators.
The Virginia opossum is an omnivore eating almost anything: carcasses, garbage, plants, animals, and insects.
They live in deciduous forests, farming areas, marshes, swamps, and wooded streams. Their lifespan is four years.
The white-tailed deer is a mammal found in the central part of the American continent. In North America, they live in most of Mexico and the United States and southern parts of Canada.
Their color is grayish-brown in the winter and reddish-brown in the summer. They have patches of white on their face, underbody, and tail.
The white-tailed deer measures from 95 to 220 cm and weighs from 45 to 68 kg.
White-tailed deer are hebivores eating grass, corn, leaves, nuts, twigs, fruits, and fungi.
They adapt well to different habitats and live in grasslands, forests, farmlands, and deserts. Their lifespan is four to five years.
The woodchuck is also known as the groundhog or the red monk. They are typical of the eastern regions of the United States, Canada, and Alaska.
Males are usually bigger than females, but their weight changes considerably across different seasons. Generally, they measure 42 to 68.5 cm, although their weight ranges during the year from 2 to 6.5 kilos.
They are a diurnal animal that on average lives two to three years. They enjoy staying in the open air, and they are very territorial animals that live in colonies.
The woodland vole is a mammal that lives in the eastern regions of the United States.
Their color is light or dark brown, with a white or gray underbody. They measure from 83 to 121 cm and weigh from 14 to 37 g.
The woodland vole is a herbivore and eats roots, nuts, seeds, and leaves. They live in deciduous forests and have a very short lifespan of three months.
Bryan Harding is a member of the American Society of Mammalogists and a member of the American Birding Association. Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Bryan serves as owner, writer, and publisher of North American Nature.