Which Mammals Live In Tennessee?


Tennessee in the southeastern region of the United States is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has many species of different mammals. In this article I look at which mammals you can find in Tennessee.

Tennessee is home to over seventy species of mammals. These include some of the largest mammals such as the American black bear and the elk to some of the smallest including the pygmy shrew and water shrew.

If you want to find out which mammals live in Tennessee please read on.

Allegheny Woodrat

The Allegheny woodrat is a nocturnal rodent from the eastern part of the United States. Their color is mostly brownish-gray, and the underbody and feet are white. 

The Allegheny woodrat measures from 31 to 45 cm (including the tail) and weigh about 450 g. This herbivore eats buds, fruits, seeds, leaves, stems, roots, acorns, nuts, and stems. 

The Allegheny woodrat lives in rocky areas (cliffs and caves) in deciduous forests. Their lifespan is three years in the wild. 

The Allegheny woodrat is becoming an endangered species. They are very destructive and carry many diseases.

American Beaver

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.

American Mink

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 Pygmy Shrew

The American pygmy shrew is a small mammal from the north of the continent.  Their color ranges from reddish-brown to grayish brown, and the pygmy shrew has a light color on their underbody.  

This species of shrew measures up to 5 cm and weighs from just 2 to 4.5 g. 

The American pygmy shrew is an insectivore and will eat insects and larvae.  They live in coniferous and deciduous forests, with a lifespan of about 16 to 17 months.

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.

American Water Shrew

The American water shrew is a solitary and semiaquatic species of shrew. Their color changes throughout the year, from light brown in the summer to black in the winter. 

The water shrew measures from 13 to 17 cm and weighs from 8 to 18 g.  They live in streams and ponds, with a lifespan of about 18 months.

This species of water shrew is an omnivore eating aquatic insects, small fish, plants, and snails.

Appalachian Cottontail

The Appalachian cottontail is a species of rabbit found in the eastern regions of the United States. 

They are a small-sized rabbit weighing around 756 grams to 1153 grams and measuring 408 mm in length on average. 

The Appalachian cottontails has a light-yellow-brown fur with brown and red patches on the neck. These rabbits are well adapted to colder climates and are usually active at dusk and dawn.  

They hide in burrows or logs during the day to escape and to avoid predators. 

The Appalachian cottontail can be found in mountainous areas between 610 to 770 meters of elevation. They have excellent senses with heightened smell, hearing, and sight.

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.

big brown bat

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.

Bobcat

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.

Brazilian Free-tailed Bat

The Mexican free-tailed bat is also referred to as the Brazilian free-tailed bat.  They are a medium-sized bat which is regarded as one of the most common species of mammals in North America. 

They tend to roost in huge numbers in a few locations. These bats tend to be typically 9 cm in length and weigh around 7 to 12 grams. 

They are characterized by wide, rounded ears which almost meet at the front of their face. Males have larger canines than females and are usually larger. 

Mexican free-tailed bats are found in most of the southern regions of the United States.

They primarily roost in caves, with some very large colonies consisting of millions of bats in Texas.

Brown Rat

The Norway rat is also known as the brown rat.  They are a rodent that lives all over the world. Their color is brown with a lighter color on the underbody. 

The brown rat measures from 15 to 28 cm and weigh from 140 to 500 g. 

The brown rat is an omnivore, eating seeds, nuts, grains, fruits, eggs, birds, mice, small rabbits, fish, and insects. 

They live in forests, urban and suburban areas, and have a lifespan of two years.

Cinereus Shrew

The cinereus shrew is also known as the masked or common shrew.  They are a small, nocturnal, and solitary animal.  Their color is grayish-brown with a lighter grayish color in the underbody. 

The cinereous shrew measures about 9 cm, with a weight of just 5g and a lifespan of just 14 months.

The cinereus shrew is a carnivore, eating insect larvae, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, worms, snails, small rodents, and salamanders. 

They live in grasslands, forests, riverbanks, lakeshores, and tundra in the northern part of North America.

Cougar

The cougar is a solitary, elusive, and mostly nocturnal wildcat. They are also known as the puma, mountain lion, and catamount. 

Photo of cougar

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.

Coyote

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. 

Coypu

The crypt is also known as the nutria. They are very similar in appearance to a beaver.  They have light to dark-brown fur, and are also aquatic.  

Unlike the beaver, their rounded tails have fewer hairs which are not as flat or wide.  

Nutria are about one-third the size of an adult beaver. 

Nutria are sometimes misidentified as a large muskrat, although they are over five times the size.  The tail of a muskrat, like a beaver lays flat, although more triangular.  

Nutria have long white whiskers unlike beavers and muskrats which have black whiskers.

Nutria can weigh up to 20 lbs with a body length up to 2 ft.  Their tails are long at 1-1.5 ft long, and have webbed hind feet.

They can be destructive, causing damage through burrowing.  The damage can erode river banks, cause flood-control levees to breech and weaken.  

Nutria also cause damage to the plants in their environment as well.  They eat up to 25% of their body weight per day but destroy and waste approximately ten times as much again.  

Coypu

The damage they cause can threaten rare populations of other animals which rely on these habitats, as well as livelihoods of agricultural farms.

Deer Mouse

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).

Eastern Chipmunk

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. 

Eastern Chipmunk

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.

Eastern Cottontail

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.1

Eastern Gray Squirrel

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.

Eastern Harvest Mouse

The Eastern harvest mouse is a species of rodent found in the United States. Their natural habitats are subtropical and tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grasslands, swamps and pasture. 

The Eastern harvest mouse typically measures around 107 to 128 mm in body length and are characterized by brown pelage with a dark lateral line. 

The underbelly and ventral side of the tail are lightly colored than the rest of the body. Females are usually bigger than males. 

On average this species has a very short life span of just nine and a half weeks. They feed primarily on seeds, fruits, and vegetables. 

They are found in a range spanning from the north to Maryland to the southern tip of Florida and as far west as Texas and Ohio.

Eastern Mole

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.

Eastern Red Bat

The Eastern red bat is found across North America, and is a species of microbat.  They measure 109 mm (4.3 in) with a weight of just 7 to 13 .  

They have long pointed wings with short ears and a long tail.  

Eastern red bats are very maneuverable and can fly quickly with speeds up to 50 km p/h.  They do not hibernate, chosing to stay in the same regions all year.  They enter a state of torpor in hollow trees or leaf little to shelter.

They are prioritized as least concern by the IUCN.  Eastern red bats can be seen in early evening either around edges of forests and woods or flying around street lights.

Eastern Small-footed Bat

The Eastern small-footed bat is a nocturnal mammal found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. 

Their face, ears, and wings are black, and the rest of the body is grayish brown. They measure from 6.5 to 9.5 cm, with a wingspan ranging from 21 to 25 cm, and weighs from 4 to 8 g. 

The Eastern small-footed bat is an insectivore eating beetles, moths, mosquitoes, and flies. 

They live in forests with caves and rock formations adequate for roosting. 

Their lifespan is 6 to 12 years in the wild, hibernating in winter.

Eastern Spotted Skunk

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.

Eastern Woodrat

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.

Elk

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.

Evening Bat

The evening bat is a species of vesper bat native to North America. They typically inhabit much of the midwestern and eastern regions of the United States. 

They are a small-sized bat, which weighs approximately 7-15 grams, with forearms spanning from 34 to 38 mm in length. 

The tip of their dorsal hair is light gray, with a brown pelage. The evening bat has robust jaws compared to other insectivorous bats. 

The average lifespan is less than four years, which may explain the higher reproductive output when compared to other bats that live longer.

Fisher

The fisher is a small, solitary, mainly nocturnal, aggressive, and elusive weasel. They are related to the American marten. 

Their color varies from dark brown to black, with a lifespan of seven years in the wild and, in rare cases, up to 14 years in captivity. They measure from 75 to 120 cm and weigh from 2 to 6 kg. 

The fisher is a carnivore that eats mice, snowshoe hares, birds, cats, poultry, shrews, porcupines, and squirrels. 

Even though they move on the ground most of the time, they are also an excellent climber. 

They live in forests in the southern part of Canada and the northern and western part of the United States.  

Fox Squirrel

The Eastern fox squirrel is also known as Bryant’s fox squirrel.  The Eastern fox squirrel is the largest species of tree squirrel in North America. 

Their total body length ranges from 45 to 70 cm, with a weight ranging between 500 to 1000 grams. 

They coexist in certain areas with the Eastern gray squirrel, but has more brownish colored fur with darker underparts that make it recognizable. 

The fox squirrel has sharp claws and they have developed strong abdominal muscles to help them climb. 

Fox squirrels have excellent vision and a great sense of smell.

Golden Mouse

The golden mouse has a golden-brown to orange color which gives them their name.

They are approximately 5-8 inches in length with a weight of 15 to 30g.  Their tail is up to 4 inches in length.

Golden mice make their nests on the ground or high in the trees.  Golden mice build their nests usually on the ground as the trees bring a higher risk of predation.

Golden mice will usually abandon their ground nests if they are flooded and build their nests higher up.  This is generally a last resort due to the increase of predators.

Gray Bat

The gray bat is a species of microbat native to North America. Their population population has experienced a severe decline due to human disturbance since the 1960s. Gray bats are listed as threatened animals. 

They are characterized by uniformly colored fur, which is usually dark gray on the back. Their body mass is generally between 7 and 16 grams, and they measure 40 mm in body length. 

These bats can be found in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Mississippi. 

They are cave-dependent bats, which means that they can be found only in caves. For this reason, disturbance to their cave habitats is extremely detrimental to these bats populations. 

Gray bats migrate in spring. They hibernate during the winter and undergo annual molting. They mainly forage over water, including streams and reservoirs where they feed on night-flying insects that have aquatic larval stages. 

They tend to form very large colonies to maintain body temperature.

Gray Fox

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.

Hairy-tailed Mole

The hairy-tailed mole is a midsize mammal found in the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. Their color is dark gray. 

The hairy-tailed mole measures from 13 to 15 cm and weighs about 51g. They are an insectivore and eat worms, larvae, slugs, and ants. 

The hairy-tailed mole lives in deciduous and coniferous forests, and open areas. Their lifespan is up to four years.

Hoary Bat

The hoary bat is a nocturnal vesper bat found in parts of North America and Hawaii, where they are a native mammal.

They use echolocation for flying at night and to find food. Their color is dark brown, but the hairs have a white tip. 

They measure from 13 to 15 cm, with a wingspan measuring 40 cm, and a weight of just 20 to 35 g. The hoary bat is the largest species in Canada.

This species of bat insectivore eats moths, but also other insects like beetles, crickets, flies, and bugs. Some of the insects it hunts are considered pests. 

Hoary Bat

The hoary bat can usually be seen alone in trees along the borders of forests.  You can also see them over lakes and other open areas and in coniferous forests.  Hoary bats do not like to fly until it is dark.

House Mouse

The house mouse is a secretive and cautious mouse that is sometimes domesticated. 

Their color is gray, black or brown with a lighter underbody. They measure from 7.5 to 10 cm (including the tail) and weigh from 40 to 45g. 

The house mouse is an omnivore eating meat, fruits, seeds, and grains. They tend to live in places where humans live. 

House Mouse

Their lifespan is less than one year in the wild but can be between 2 to 3 years in protected environments.

Indiana Bat

The Indiana myotis is a midsize, social species of bat found in the eastern part of the United States. 

Their colors vary from dark brown to black. The Indiana bat measures from 4.1 to 4.9 cm and weighs about 7g. 

The Indiana bat is an insectivore and eats flies, moths, bees, wasps, midges, ants, mosquitoes, and beetles. They live in wooded areas, where they can be found roosting in trees. 

During the winter the Indiana bat hangs from ceilings clustered in groups to hibernate. 

Their lifespan is about 14 years and are considered an endangered species.

Least Weasel

The least weasel is also known as the common weasel or little weasel.  They are the smallest member of the genus Mustela. 

They are native to North America, but also Eurasia and North Africa. Their bodies are slender and elongated, with relatively short tail and legs. 

The average body length is around 130 to 260 mm, and they weigh between 36 to 250 grams, with males being slightly bigger than females. 

The color of the pelage of least weasels varies according to the geographical location, but underparts are usually white, and the back, limbs, and tail are a shade of brown. 

Their diet consists mainly of small rodents. Males mark their territory with olfactory signs and are strongly territorial and dominant weasels. 

Least weasels may have aggressive encounters with each other. The least weasel occupies a wide range of different habitats.

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.

Long-tailed Shrew

The long-tailed shrew is a small shrew measuring 48 to 79 mm.  Their tail takes the total length to 120 mm.  They weigh between 3.1 to 8.3 g.  

The long-tailed shrew lives in mountainous territories around and under rocks or near streams. 

Their long tail is used to help them balance when they climb in their rocky habitat.  They are gray to black in color.

Long-tailed Weasel

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.

Muskrat

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. 

Muskrat

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.

Nine-banded Armadillo

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.

North American Least Shrew

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.

Northern Flying Squirrel

The Northern flying squirrel is one of three flying squirrels in North America. 

Their habitat is coniferous and mixed coniferous forests. They live in Canada, and the United States from Alaska to Nova Scotia, North Carolina, Utah and Oregon. 

They are clumsy on the ground but efficient climbers and gliders. They have a furry membrane between their front and hind legs which they use to glide from tree to tree. Flying squirrels are nocturnal with excellent vision. 

Their length reaches between 25 to 37 centimeters, and they usually weigh between 110 and 230 grams. 

Their color varies from gray to dark brown, with white on its underbody and a flat tail and big eyes. They also have large whiskers which they use to sense their way around at night.

This omnivore eats nuts, acorns, fruits, buds, fungi, insects, bird eggs, and lichens. The Northern flying squirrel lives in forests in the northern part of the continent with a lifespan of four years.

Northern Long-eared Bat

The Northern long-eared myotis is a species of bat.  They use echolocation to navigate while flying. 

Their color varies from yellowish light brown to black, and measure about 8.6 cm and weigh from 5 to 8 g. 

This insectivore eats mostly moths, beetles, flies, and leafhoppers. They live in boreal forests (taiga) in the eastern, central part of North America. Their lifespan is about 18.5 years. 

They are an endangered species due to a sickness that is killing the species.

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.

Northern River Otter

The river otter is a smart, semiaquatic mammal found in the northern states.

River otter

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.

Prairie Vole

The prairie vole is grayish-black with brownish tips to the fur.  Their underbelly is lighter and generally white or cinnamon colored.

Male and female prairie voles are about the same size with a weight up to 48g and a total length of 170mm including a tail of 40mm.

Prairie voles are one of the species that practices monogamy.

Their diet consists of plant material including leaves, seeds and stems, although they will also eat insects.  

They live in tunnels underground consisting of many runways.  Entrances have a layer of grass to disguise them.

Raccoon

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. 

raccoon

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.

Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat is also known as the Southeastern big-eared bat.  They are a species of vesper bat which is native to the United States. 

The name is given by the large ears that characterize this bat. They are considered to be medium-sized bats with a length of about 7.5 to 10 centimeters and a weight of 6-13 grams. 

The pelage of this bat is mainly gray on the upper side and white on the underside. The ears are pinkish-brown. According to some sources, the lifespan of this bat is about ten years. 

These bats usually inhabit coastal plains as well as mountainous areas like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the United States. 

They are nocturnal insectivores and locate their prey by echolocation.

Red Fox

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.

Roof Rat

The black rat is also known as the roof rat.  They are a nocturnal rodent that lives in every continent in the world except for Antarctica. 

Their color ranges from black to light brown with a lighter color on the underbody. They measure from 12.75 to 18.25 cm and weigh from 75 to 230g. 

Black rats are omnivores and eat seeds, stems, fruit, leaves, and fungi. They live in cliffs, rocks, ground, trees, and urban areas. 

Their lifespan is 12 months and are considered pests by farmers. 

Seminole Bat

The Seminole bat is a species of bat found in the southeastern regions of the United States including Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas. 

The average weight of this species is around 12 grams. 

Seminole bats are insectivores and mainly feed on ants, bees and wasps. They prefer to live in forested areas where they can rest under the leaves of trees. 

They can be recognized by a small tail located in the membrane between the hind limbs. The upper surface of the membrane is covered in fur.

Silver-haired Bat

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.

Smoky Shrew

The smoky shrew is a nocturnal mammal that lives in eastern North America. 

They normally use tunnels from other moles or shrews, rarely digging their own. 

Their color is grayish-brown with a lighter underbody. They measure about 11 cm with a weight of 5g. 

This insectivore eats beetles, spiders, bugs, snails, insects, fungi, centipedes, worms, and larvae. 

They live in coniferous and deciduous forests, marshes, swamps, and grasslands, with a lifespan of 14 to 17 months.

Southeastern Myotis

The Southeastern myotis is a bat found throughout the southeast of the United States.  

They weigh between 5-8g and has a wingspan up to 11 inches.  Female bats are larger, with a length of 97mm, compared to 89mm for males.  

They are gray to bright orange-brown, with males being darker than females.  They have whitish tips at the end of their dark gray fur.  

They have long toe-hairs which distinguishes them from other species of bats.  The hair can be seen extending past the ends of their claws.

Southeastern Shrew

The Southeastern shrew can be found among forests, woodland, scrub, brushlands, marshes, bogs, shrub, fields and meadows.  

They are very small, with a size up to 10 cm, and a weight of just 4g.  They have a brown fur with a reddish-brown tint, and molt twice a year.  They live up to a maximum of eighteen months. They have a litter of up to five young.

They feed on slugs, snails, centipedes, vegetation, insect larvae and spiders.  

They live in the underground burrows of other animals, venturing out to find food. 

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.

Southern Short-tailed Shrew

The Southern short-tailed shrew has gray fur, with a brown or silver tint.  They measure about 11 cm and weigh up to 8g.  

They have a short tail, which is always less than half of the length of the body and the head.  They have a short snout and ears that are small and covered by their fur.

The short-tailed shrew is excellent at digging and burrowing.  They can burrow at a rate of 30 centimeters per minute, three times their body size.  They have wide feet at the front, and use these feet along with their snout and their head to burrow quickly.

The burrow of the short-tailed shrew is at two different levels.  There is a deep level between 40 – 60 cm below the ground, and another higher level a few centimeters beneath the ground.

Their diet consists of vegetables, insects, centipedes, spiders, vertebrates and crustaceans.

Star-nosed Mole

The star-nosed mole is a solitary mammal from the eastern regions of North America. 

Their color ranges from dark brown to black. They measure from 15 to 20 cm and weigh from 37 to 76 g. 

The star-nosed mole is a carnivore and eats worms, amphibians, aquatic insects, mollusks, and small fish. 

They live in wet lowland areas, forests, and marshes. Their lifespan is 2.5 years in captivity. By using their star-nose, they are able to gather a clear image of their surroundings. 

Striped Skunk

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.

Swamp Rabbit

The swamp rabbit is a large-sized species of cottontail rabbit. They can usually be found in swamps and the wetlands of the southern regions of the United States, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Arkansas, and South Carolina. 

They are also called marsh rabbits or cane-cutter rabbits. 

Their dimensions can vary from 1.8 kg to 2.5 kg and around 45 cm to 55 cm in length.

They spend much of their time in depressions near the water. The swamp rabbit is hunted for fur, meat, and sport and is the second most-commonly killed rabbit in the United States. 

They are not quick swimmers but elude predators in the water by laying still surrounded by plants.

Tri-colored Bat

The tri-colored bat is a small, nocturnal species of bat found in eastern North America and Central America. They are one of the native North American mammals. 

Their colors range from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown. They measure from 30 to 35 mm and weigh from 4 to 10 g. 

The tai-colored bat is an insectivore eating moths, midges, flies, beetles, mosquitoes, and ants. They live in semi-open places with large trees in forests, grasslands, urban and suburban areas. 

Their lifespan is 4 to 8 years in the wild. It is possible that they could become an endangered species in the near future.

Virginia Opossum

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. 

Opossum in winter

They live in deciduous forests, farming areas, marshes, swamps, and wooded streams. Their lifespan is four years.

White-footed Deermouse

The white-footed mouse is a timid, nocturnal mammal that lives in eastern regions of North America. 

Their color is reddish-brown, with a dark, broad mark on its back and a white underbody. 

The white-footed mouse measures from 9 to 10 cm (without the tail) and weighs from 20 to 30g. 

They are omnivores eating seeds, nuts, grain, insects, fungi, and fruit. They live in warm, dry forests and semi-desert areas. Their lifespan is one year in the wild.

White-tailed Deer

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. 

White tailed deer

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.

Woodchuck

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.

Woodland Jumping Mouse

The woodland jumping mouse is a small, solitary, and usually nocturnal midsize rodent found in eastern North America. 

Their color varies from yellowish-brown on the sides to dark brown on their back. They have an underbody that is white. 

They measure from 20.5 to 25.6 cm and weigh from 17 to 26 g. 

They can jump as high as 3 meters (or 9.8 feet) by leveraging their strong feet and long tail. They prefer a quadrupedal walk to move around. 

They prefer forested habitats. The fur of the woodland jumping mouse has several shades of brown along with white feet.

The woodland jumping mouse is an omnivore and eats grass, fruits, berries, fungi, seeds, and insects. They live in forests in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada with a four year lifespan.

Bryan Harding

Bryan has spent his whole life around animals. While loving all animals, Bryan is especially fond of mammals and has studied and worked with them around the world. Not only does Bryan share his knowledge and experience with our readers, but he also serves as owner, editor, and publisher of North American Mammals.

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