Today’s animal is the water vole. Here is everything you need to know about these interesting creatures.
- The European water vole can grow up to nine inches in length, not including the tail.
- Their tails can reach up to half their body length.
- Water voles have dark brown fur with slightly lighter underbellies. Their coloring evolved to blend in with their environment.
- They average 2 to 5 oz.
You can find water voles in the following countries:
- West Asia
- Voles excavate burrows out of the banks of rivers, ponds, streams and ditches.
- They prefer to dig next to calm, slow-moving water.
- They can also build ball-shaped nests above ground if no suitable subterranean space is available.
- Though they prefer lush riverbanks, they will venture into woodlands and fields if necessary.
- As herbivores, water voles eat mostly grass and vegetation.
- Some of their favorite foods include fruits, roots, buds and bulbs.
- Voles located in Europe have been known to cause “plagues” by ravenously devouring rich crop harvests.
- When they cannot find enough vegetation to eat, they can consume smaller animals like frogs and reptiles.
- Voles are experts at swimming and diving.
- Adult male voles are individualists with their own territory. These males mark their territory with fecal latrines near their nest. Their flank gland secretes scent-marking fluids to mark off their respective territories.