General Topics

Rodents of Missouri

Introduction

This page should serve as a general guide to the rodents of Missouri. Suborders, families and species, etc. of rodents that are not found within Missouri will not be featured.

Rodentia is the most species rich order within mammalia (Romanenko, et al.). It comprises approximately 42% of all mammals (Romanenko, et al. 1138). Recent research has suggested that Rodentia is split into two groups with differing evolutionary paths. The first group, comprised of the subroders Castorimorpha, Sciuromorpha, and Anomaluromorpha, has retained a genome that is likely close to that of the ancestor of all mammals. The second group, suborder Myomorpha, has genomes which, “underwent ‘catastrophic evolution,’ which resulted in numerous breaks and fusions of the ancient chromosomes” (Romanenko, et al. 1138). The research is inconclusive about where or how Hystricomorpha fit into these groups, (Romanenko, et al. 1138).

Castorimorpha

Castorimorph means beaverlike, and the suborder contains only three families. Includes beavers, pocket gophers, and pocket mice as well as their relatives (Stefoff 39).

Hystricomorpha

These are the porcupinelike rodents (Stefoff 49). Only one species of hystricomorph is found in the wilds of Missouri.

Myomorpha

The mouselike rodents (britannica.com). Comprised of mice, rats, and voles. Evolutionary trailblazers.

Sciuromorpha

Squirrels and other sciurids

Citations:

“Myomorpha.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

“Rodents: Rodentia.” A Field Guide to Mammals of North America, by Fiona A. Reid, 4th ed., Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006, pp. 177–340.

Romanenko, S. A., et al. “Chromosomal evolution in Rodentia.” Heredity 108.1 (2012): 4.

Romanenko, S. A., et al. “Comparative cytogenetics of rodents.” Russian journal of genetics 46.9 (2010): 1138-1142.

Stefoff, Rebecca. The Rodent Order. Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2009.

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