Picture taken near the Niagara River, Canada March 2009.
The Groundhog is a rodent and a member of the family Sciuridae, it belongs to a group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.
Groundhogs are usually about 35 to 70 cm long (15-30") including the tail). They weigh between 2-4 kg (4.5 to 9 pounds) but if food is abundant they may reach 80cm (32")and 14 kg (31 lb).
Groundhogs mainly eat vegetation, but will also eat invertebrates and other small animals.
Groundhogs are amazing burrowers. They use their burrows to sleep, raise young and hibernate.
It is said that they can excavate around 1 m³ (35 cubic feet), or 350 kg (800 pounds), of soil when making a burrow.
The burrows have two to five entrances, to provide ventilation and means of escape from predators. The burrows are often large, with up to 15 m (45') of tunnels anything up to 1.5m (5') underground.