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Encyclopedia > Lemming
Lemmings

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Tribe: Lemmini*
Genera

Dicrostonyx
Lemmus
Synaptomys
Myopus
 * Incomplete listing: see vole Lemmings, a computer game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by Psygnosis in 1991, was one of the most popular computer games of its time. ... Lemming or Lemmings can refer to: Lemmings, a small rodent A Comedy play and album by National Lampoon A U.S. Band A 1997 Blink-182 song. ... Image File history File links Lemming. ... Binomial name Lemmus lemmus Linnaeus, 1758 The Norway lemming (also Norwegian lemming), Lemmus lemmus, is a common species of lemming found in northern Scandinavia and adjacent areas of Russia. ... For other uses, see Scientific classification (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... Typical Classes Subphylum Urochordata - Tunicates Ascidiacea Thaliacea Larvacea Subphylum Cephalochordata - Lancelets Subphylum Myxini - Hagfishes Subphylum Vertebrata - Vertebrates Petromyzontida - Lampreys Placodermi (extinct) Chondrichthyes - Cartilaginous fishes Acanthodii (extinct) Actinopterygii - Ray-finned fishes Actinistia - Coelacanths Dipnoi - Lungfishes Amphibia - Amphibians Reptilia - Reptiles Aves - Birds Mammalia - Mammals Chordates (phylum Chordata) include the vertebrates, together with... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... Suborders Sciuromorpha Castorimorpha Myomorpha Anomaluromorpha Hystricomorpha Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents. ... Subfamilies Arvicolinae Cricetinae Neotominae Sigmodontinae Tylomyinae Valid name: Muridae Illiger, 1815 [1] Cricetidae is a family of rodents in the large and complex superfamily Muroidea. ... Genera see text Arvicolinae is a subfamily of rodents that includes the voles, lemmings, and muskrats. ... Dicrostonyx is a genus of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Species See text The genus Synaptomys is a group of North American lemmings. ... Myopus is a genus of rodent in the Muridae family. ... For other uses, see Vole (disambiguation). ...

Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in or near the Arctic, in tundra biomes. Together with the voles and muskrats, they make up the subfamily Arvicolinae (also known as Microtinae), which forms part of the largest mammal radiation by far, the superfamily Muroidea, which also includes the rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils. Suborders Sciuromorpha Castorimorpha Myomorpha Anomaluromorpha Hystricomorpha Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents. ... The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, commonly used to define the Arctic region border Satellite image of the Arctic surface The Arctic is the region around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctic region around the South Pole. ... A biome is a major geographical area of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often referred to as ecosystems. ... For other uses, see Vole (disambiguation). ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1766) Muskrat range (native range in red, introduced range in green) Muskrat Tucker hole, middle Patuxent River marsh, Maryland The Muskrat or Musquash (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra, is a large aquatic rodent native to North America, and introduced in parts of Europe. ... ... Genera see text Arvicolinae is a subfamily of rodents that includes the voles, lemmings, and muskrats. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... Families see text Muroidea is a large superfamily of rodents. ... Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... This article is about the animal. ... Genera Mesocricetus Phodopus Cricetus Cricetulus Allocricetulus Cansumys Tscherskia Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. ... For other uses, see Gerbil (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Description and habitat

Lemmings weigh from 30 to 112 grams (1–4 oz) and are about 7 to 15 centimetres (2.75 – 6 in) long. They generally have long, soft fur and very short tails. They are herbivorous, feeding mostly on leaves and shoots, grasses, and sedges in particular, but also on roots and bulbs. Like many rodents, their incisors grow continuously, allowing them to exist on much tougher forage than would otherwise be possible. In zoology, an herbivore is an animal that is adapted to eat primarily plants (rather than meat). ... Subfamilies There are 7 subfamilies: Subfamily Arundinoideae Subfamily Bambusoideae Subfamily Centothecoideae Subfamily Chloridoideae Subfamily Panicoideae Subfamily Pooideae Subfamily Stipoideae The true grasses are monocotyledonous plants (Class Liliopsida) in the Family Poaceae, also known as Gramineae. ... Genera See text The Family Cyperaceae, or the Sedge family, is a taxon of monocot flowering plants that superficially resemble grasses or rushes. ... Incisors are the first kind of tooth in heterodont mammals. ...


Lemmings do not hibernate through the harsh northern winter. They remain active, finding food by burrowing through the snow and utilising grasses clipped and stored in advance. They are solitary animals by nature, meeting only to mate and then going their separate ways, but like all rodents they have a high reproductive rate and can breed rapidly in good seasons. This article refers to the process of hibernation in biology. ...


There is little to distinguish a lemming from a vole. Most lemmings are members of the tribe Lemmini (one of the three tribes that make up the subfamily).


Behavior

The behavior of lemmings is much the same as that of many other rodents which have periodic population booms and then disperse in all directions, seeking the food and shelter that their natural habitat cannot provide.


Lemmings of northern Norway are one of the few vertebrates who reproduce so quickly that their population fluctuations are chaotic,[1] rather than following linear growth to a carrying capacity or regular oscillations. It is unknown why lemming populations fluctuate with such variance roughly every four years, before plummeting to near extinction.[2]


While for many years it was believed that the population of lemming predators changed with the population cycle, there is now some evidence to suggest that the predator's population may be more closely involved in changing the lemming population.[3] This snapping turtle is trying to make a meal of a Canada goose, but the goose is too wary. ... A population cycle in zoology is a phenomenon where populations rise and fall over a predictable period of time. ...


Myths and misconceptions

Misconceptions about lemmings go back many centuries. In the 1530s, the geographer Zeigler of Strasbourg proposed the theory that the creatures fell out of the sky during stormy weather (also featured in the folklore of the Inupiat/Yupik at Norton Sound), and then died suddenly when the grass grew in spring.[4] This was refuted by the natural historian Ole Worm, who first published dissections of a lemming, and showed that lemmings are anatomically similar to most other rodents. Centuries: 15th century - 16th century - 17th century Decades: 1480s 1490s 1500s 1510s 1520s - 1530s - 1540s 1550s 1560s 1570s 1580s Years: 1530 1531 1532 1533 1534 1535 1536 1537 1538 1539 Events and Trends Spanish conquest of Peru Beginning of colonization of Brazil Categories: 1530s ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Inupiat or Iñupiaq are the Inuit people of Alaskas Northwest Arctic and North Slope boroughs and the Bering Straits region. ... This article is about Yupik peoples in general. ... The Norton Sound is an inlet of the Bering Sea in western Alaska, south of the Seward Peninsula. ... Ole Worm Ole Worm (May 13, 1588 – August 31, 1654), (pronounced Olay Vorm) who often went by the Latinized form of his name Olaus Wormius, was a Danish physician and antiquary. ...


While many people believe that lemmings commit mass suicide when they migrate, this is not the case. Driven by strong biological urges, they will migrate in large groups when population density becomes too great. Lemmings can and do swim and may choose to cross a body of water in search of a new habitat[5]. On occasion, and particularly in the case of the Norway lemmings in Scandinavia, large migrating groups will reach a cliff overlooking the ocean. They will stop until the urge to press on causes them to jump off the cliff and start swimming, sometimes to exhaustion and death. Lemmings are also often pushed into the sea as more and more lemmings arrive at the shore. [6] Mass suicide occurs when a number of people kill themselves together with one another or for the same reason and is usually connected to a real or perceived persecution. ...


The myth of lemming mass suicide is long-standing and has been popularized by a number of factors. It is usually stated that the main source of the belief in the suicide myth was propagated by The Walt Disney Company documentary White Wilderness which includes footage of lemmings migrating and running head-long over a ledge. An investigation in 1983 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Brian Vallee, showed that the Disney film makers faked the entire sequence using imported lemmings (bought from Inuit children), a snow covered turntable on which a few dozen lemmings were forced to run, and literally throwing lemmings into the sea to show the alleged suicides. [7] For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... “Disney” redirects here. ... Original poster White Wilderness is an Academy Award-winning nature commentary produced by Disney in 1958 noted for its splendid visuals as well as its propagation of the myth of lemming suicide. ...


Due to their association with this odd behaviour, lemming suicide is a frequently-used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences. This is the theme of the video game Lemmings, where the player attempts to save the mindlessly marching rodents from walking to their deaths. This article is about metaphor in literature and rhetoric. ... Lemmings, a computer game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North) and published by Psygnosis in 1991, was one of the most popular computer games of its time. ...


Classification

Suborders Sciuromorpha Castorimorpha Myomorpha Anomaluromorpha Hystricomorpha Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents. ... Families see text Muroidea is a large superfamily of rodents. ... Subfamilies Arvicolinae Cricetinae Neotominae Sigmodontinae Tylomyinae Valid name: Muridae Illiger, 1815 [1] Cricetidae is a family of rodents in the large and complex superfamily Muroidea. ... Genera see text Arvicolinae is a subfamily of rodents that includes the voles, lemmings, and muskrats. ... Dicrostonyx is a genus of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name Dicrostonyx groenlandicus (Traill, 1823) The Northern Collared Lemming, Dicrostonyx groenlandicus is a small North American lemming. ... Binomial name Dicrostonyx hudsonius (Pallas, 1778) The Ungava Collared Lemming or Labrador Collared Lemming, Dicrostonyx hudsonius is a small North American lemming. ... Binomial name Anderson & Rand, 1945 The Victoria Collared Lemming (Dicrostonyx kilangmiutak) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name Merriam, 1900 Synonyms exsul G. M. Allen, 1919 Nelsons Collared Lemming (Dicrostonyx nelsoni) is a species of rodent in the Cricetidae family. ... Binomial name Dicrostonyx richardsoni (Merriam, 1900) The Richardsons Collared Lemming, Dicrostonyx richardsoni is a small North American lemming. ... Binomial name (Richardson, 1889) The Bering Collared Lemming (Dicrostonyx rubricatus) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name (Pallas, 1778) The Arctic Lemming (Dicrostonyx torquatus) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name Merriam, 1900 The Unalaska Collared Lemming (Dicrostonyx unalascensis) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name Ognev, 1948 The Wrangel Lemming (Dicrostonyx vinogradovi) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Amur Lemming (Lemmus Amurensis) is a species of Lemming found near the Amur River on the side of Siberia. ... Binomial name Lemmus lemmus Linnaeus, 1758 The Norway lemming (also Norwegian lemming), Lemmus lemmus, is a common species of lemming found in northern Scandinavia and adjacent areas of Russia. ... Binomial name Lemmus trimucronatus (Richardson, 1825) The North American Brown Lemming, Lemmus trimucronatus, is a small North American lemming. ... Myopus is a genus of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name Lilljeborg, 1844 The Wood Lemming (Myopus schisticolor) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Species See text The genus Synaptomys is a group of North American lemmings. ... Binomial name Synaptomys borealis (Richardson, 1828) The Northern Bog Lemming, Synaptomys borealis is a small North American lemming. ... Binomial name Synaptomys cooperi (Baird, 1857) The Southern Bog Lemming, Synaptomys cooperi is a small North American lemming. ... For other uses, see Vole (disambiguation). ... Eolagurus is a genus of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name (Eversmann, 1840) The Yellow Steppe Lemming (Eolagurus luteus) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name (Büchner, 1889) The Przewalskis Steppe Lemming (Eolagurus przewalskii) is a species of rodent in the Muridae family. ... Binomial name L. lagurus (Pallara, 1773) The Steppe Lemming, or Lagurus lagurus, is a light grey, small, plump rodent that is like a lemming, but is not in the genus Lemmus, unlike the Norway Lemming (Lemmus lemmus) It is 87 to 140 mm long and 25 to 35g. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1766) Muskrat range (native range in red, introduced range in green) Muskrat Tucker hole, middle Patuxent River marsh, Maryland The Muskrat or Musquash (Ondatra zibethicus), the only species in genus Ondatra, is a large aquatic rodent native to North America, and introduced in parts of Europe. ...

References

  1. ^ (Turchin & Ellner, 1997)
  2. ^ Hinterland Who's Who - Lemmings
  3. ^ Predators drive the lemming cycle in Greenland
  4. ^ ABC.net.au - Lemmings Suicide Myth
  5. ^ [1]www.wildlifenews.alaska.gov - Lemming Suicide Myth Disney Film Faked Bogus Behavior
  6. ^ http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9047724/lemming?source=youtube_18465
  7. ^ http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.htm

External links

Look up Lemming in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • The Lemming CyclePDF (92.6 KiB) article by Nils Christian Stenseth on the population cycles of lemmings and other northern rodents.
    • See also The Lemming Cycle, in HTML format.
  • Collared LemmingPDF (177 KiB) Article about Collared Lemming, see also the main page on Alaskan mammals http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/zoology/Zoology_ADFG_mammals.htm
  • Rebuttal of lemming suicide:

  Results from FactBites:
 
lemming - HighBeam Encyclopedia (485 words)
LEMMING [lemming] name for several species of mouselike rodents related to the voles.
The snow, or collard, lemmings, Dicrostonyx, found in the arctic regions of Asia and North America, are pure white in winter and brown, gray, or reddish in summer; this color change is unique among rodents.
The steppe lemmings, members of the genus Lagarus, of S Russia and Mongolia, are properly classified as voles; the North American species of this genus, Lagarus curtatus, is found in the W United States and is known as the sagebrush vole.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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