Mice and rats
Whitaker, John O., Jr. Department of Biology, Center for North American Bat Research and Conservation, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana.
Last reviewed:June 2018
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The names associated with a great number of species of mammals in a number of different families of the order Rodentia. The rodents constitute the largest order (Rodentia) of mammals, and they include approximately 2300 species, or about 42% of the known mammalian species of the world. Most of the smaller rodents are called mice or rats. There is no fundamental taxonomic difference between mice and rats; they differ only in their size. Smaller species are generally called mice (Fig. 1); larger ones are called rats. Both mice and rats are often in the same family, and there are mice and rats in a number of different rodent families. See also: Mammalia; Rodentia
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