America 101: Groundhog Day
The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig, or in some areas as a land-beaver, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. Other marmots, such as the yellow-bellied and hoary marmots, live in rocky and mountainous areas, but the woodchuck is a lowland creature. It is widely distributed in North America and common in the northeastern and central United States. Groundhogs are found as far north as Alaska, with their habitat extending southeast to Alabama. Like all rodents of the Sciuridae family, groundhogs do not possess any innate metrological expertise nor can they create forecast models based on atmospheric dynamics. Mostly herbivorous, groundhogs primarily eat wild grasses and other vegetation, including berries and agricultural crops, when available.