5 Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs
Even though groundhogs, also called woodchucks or marmots, are the largest of the squirrel family spreading all over the Northeast, many of us don't ever get to really learn about them. In honor of Groundhog Day and all it's weather-predicting glory, we put together a list of facts about groundhogs for the average person who, for 364 days of the year, does not take time to focus on these animals.
Groundhogs get their name because for the most part, they travel on land. However, a distressed groundhog who might be in danger is also known to climb a tree and even swim in water!
Groundhogs are great at hiding their weight! On average, they typically weigh about 13 pounds, but they can actually weigh up to 31 pounds. That's the same as a 2-year-old kid!
New Jerseyans and other residents of the Northeastern region of the United States are used to spotting groundhogs. Surprisingly, groundhogs have also been found as far north as Alaska and as south as Alabama!
The longevity of a groundhog's life span solely depends on its environment. Wild groundhogs only live about 3 - 6 years while those in captivity amazingly have been been reported to live anywhere from 9 - 14 years.
The leader of all U.S. groundhogs for whom Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) depends on is named Punxsutawny Phil after his residence of Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania. The extent of research and information about Punxsutawny Phil's care-giving club, the "Inner Circle" is tremendous and actually interesting...although no one quite explains exactly how Punxsutawny Phil has been predicting weather since the year 1887! Hmmm...