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WILD facts: rodent pointers
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The term "rodent" often is used when referring to a mouse or rat.

However, other mammals in Georgia belong to the order Rodentia, too, including voles, chipmunks, squirrels, muskrats and beavers.

These plant eaters have front incisor teeth and rear molars but lack pointy canine teeth on the sides. The front surface of their incisors is made of hard enamel while the back surface consists of softer dentine.

This difference in hardness causes the teeth to wear unevenly and results in a very sharp chisel for chomping. Rodent incisors never stop growing, but they get worn down while gnawing on nuts, fruits and woody plants.

WILD Facts is a regular feature written by Linda May, a wildlife interpretive specialist with the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division.

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