Two of every five mammals on Earth are rodents, yet most people know little about this amazingly diverse order of animals. Rats and mice may be all too familiar, but what about gundis and degus? And did you know that porcupines are rodents, but rabbits are not? The Rodent Order explores the world of rodents, from prehistoric guinea pigs the size of horses to the Laotian rock rat, a "living fossil" recently found alive in the forests of Southeast Asia. The Rodent Order also examines the long relationship between people and rodents. For thousands of years, rodents have influenced human life as pests, food, pets, and carriers of disease. Today human activities are threatening the survival of some rodent species, but other rodents are flourishing-sometimes right under our noses.
Introduction: Classifying Life 7 Animal Kingdom Family Tree 16 Chapter 1 Rodent Roots 19 Chapter 2 Rats, Mice, and Many More 33 Chapter 3 Biology and Behavior 61 Chapter 4 Living with Rodents 77 Glossary 88 Rodent Family Tree 90 Find Out More 92 Bibliography 93 Index 94