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11 Animals Like Groundhogs (How They’re Similar)

Woodchucks, ground pigs, land beavers, Canada marmots, and whistle pigs are just a few of the monikers that groundhogs are known by. These stocky mammals are a common sight throughout the United States, and are known to cause havoc in gardens and even cause structural damage to homes and buildings. Animals like groundhogs don’t pose much of a threat to humans, but they can damage property.

Despite these problems that they can cause, groundhogs do provide many benefits, including helping to aerate the soil and acting as pest control. Sometimes, groundhogs are mistaken for other animals, and it’s this mistaken identity that can lead people to blame these furry creatures for things that animals like groundhogs did.

Collage image of animals like groundhogs
Collage image of animals like groundhogs

11 Animals Like Groundhogs

Several different other species share many similarities to groundhogs, and some are even confused with these stubby animals. Gophers, marmots, squirrels, badgers, and beavers are the creatures most commonly confused for groundhogs. But there are several others that share many of the same traits as groundhogs.

1. Gophers

Gopher resting on the grass field | Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

Gophers and groundhogs are often mistaken for one another because their appearances are so similar. They both are well-known for their love of digging burrows, and they both have coarse brown fur.

Gophers are, however, much smaller and weigh less than a groundhog. Gopher’s yellowish teeth can also be seen when they have their mouths closed, while the groundhog’s white teeth are only visible when they open their mouths.

2. Marmot

Marmot standing on the rock
Marmot standing on the rock | image by Strange Ones via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Marmots are large-sized ground squirrels that look similar to groundhogs. However, groundhogs a little larger than marmots and their fur isn’t as colorful.

Groundhogs are also found throughout the United States, while marmots are not as widespread. In the United States, marmots are found in the western part of the country, such as Alaska, California, Colorado, Utah, and Washington.

3. Badgers

Badger eating grass
Badger eating grass | image by John Campbell via Flickr

The burrows created by both groundhogs and badgers are often confused with one another. Both of these creatures also have a similar body shape with short legs on a wide and stout body. Despite these similarities, badgers and groundhogs actually look very different.

Badgers have brown or black fur with white on their head, and some species even have a white stripe going down their back. Groundhogs, on the other hand, have fur in various shades of brown, gray, or even cinnamon-colored.

Another difference between the two is that badgers can and will eat groundhogs, while groundhogs stick to eating plants and flowers, and the occasional insect, snail, or grub.

4. Prairie Dogs

group of prairie dogs
Group of Prairie dogs | image by Jodie Wilson via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Both groundhogs and prairie dogs are members of Marmotini family, and are closely related to one another. They both have a similar body shape covered in fur that is about the same color. The groundhog, however, is a bit bigger.

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Groundhogs and prairie dogs also have the same diet, eating grasses, plants, seeds, and some insects. Both of these animals create underground tunnels and burrows in which they live and travel in.

5. Beavers

beaver in nature
Beaver in nature | image by Deborah Freeman via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Groundhogs and beavers have many of the same physical characteristics, including similar fur coloring, short body, dark eyes, round ears, stubby legs, and sharp buck teeth. The beaver’s large front chompers are orange and the groundhog has white teeth.

Despite the many same attributes that they have, there are some important differences between the two. Groundhogs live in burrows that they have dug underground, while the beavers need to live close to a water source. These creatures also have different food sources, with beavers consuming trees and other woody plants.

6. Squirrels

Red Squirrel foraging in the grass
Red Squirrel foraging in the grass | image by hedera.baltica via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Groundhogs, like squirrels, are a type of rodent and both of these creatures can have fur in various shades of brown or gray. They are even in the same family as squirrels, and often eat the same type of foods.

Groundhogs are much larger than squirrels, however, with a body that is stockier and wider. Squirrels also have bushier tails than groundhogs, and are seen in trees. Groundhogs, as their name suggests, stay on the ground and create tunnels and burrows beneath the soil.

7. Capybaras

Capybara | Image by sharkolot from Pixabay

Capybaras look similar to groundhogs in many ways. They both have a similar body shape, like colored fur, and large front teeth. But they have an abundance of differences as well.

Capybaras are much larger in size than groundhogs, and are not as widespread. Groundhogs can be found throughout the United States, while capybaras are native to South America. Unlike groundhogs, capybaras have no tail but do have webbed feet.

8. Muskrat

Muskrat floats on the pond
Muskrat floats on the pond | image by Scott Heron via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Muskrats are mostly aquatic animals and are smaller than groundhogs. Both of these creatures are rodents with a diet mainly consisting of vegetation. They can also have the same colored fur, although muskrats can also have fur that is white or black in color.

Like the groundhog, muskrats have a stocky build but their tails are completely different from one another. Groundhogs have thick and short tails covered in fur, while muskrats have a long hairless tail that is covered in scales.

9. Chipmunks

Chipmunk eating food | Image by 11417994 from Pixabay

Chipmunks are, of course, much smaller than groundhogs, and most people won’t confuse the two. Despite their completely different appearance, chipmunks and groundhogs do have some things in common.

They are both members of the Sciuridae family, which includes squirrels, and they are both known as skilled diggers. Chipmunks and groundhogs create complex and large burrows underground, and even consume some of the same food, such as plant roots.

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10. Rabbits

Resting rabbit in a grassy field
Resting rabbit in a grassy field | Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I am sure you are wondering what rabbits are doing on this list since most people can tell the difference between a bunny and a groundhog. If you start to compare a rabbit with a groundhog, you will quickly see that they both have several similarities.

Both rabbits and groundhogs have large front teeth that give the animal a bucked-tooth appearance. They are also both common sights in backyards around the United States, and even consume many of the same types of foods. Another trait they share is that rabbits, like groundhogs, are skilled diggers that live in burrows underground.

11. Voles

water voles eating green plants
Water voles eating green plants | image by Peter Trimming via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Voles are another animal that you probably wouldn’t confuse with a groundhog. That doesn’t mean, however, that these two mammals don’t share similarities.

Like groundhogs, voles are known as powerful diggers that create tunnels and burrows underground. While they are much smaller than groundhogs, voles have a similar body shape and even feast on many of the same plants and grasses that you will find groundhogs eating.