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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.



They Aren’t Just ‘Ground’ Hogs



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!


Flickr user lissalou66
Flickr user lissalou66


Groundhogs are Husky



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!


Google Maps
Google Maps


Groundhogs Span Across a Large Region



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!




Wild Groundhogs Have Short Lives



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.




Groundhog Day’s Leading Weather-Predicting Groundhog is Ancient



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…


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