MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

WILDLIFE

MAMMALS


[photo, Woodchuck, also known as Groundhog, Havre de Grace, Maryland]
  • Common Mammals (DNR)
  • Field Guide to Maryland Bats (DNR)
  • Mammals of Maryland (DNR)
  • Maryland Mammals
  • Woodchuck (Marmota monax), also known as Groundhog, Havre de Grace, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Glen Burnie, Maryland] In 1632, Father Andrew White wrote of mammals seen in Maryland: "But so great is the abundance of swine and deer that they are rather troublesome than advantageous. Cows also are innumerable, and oxen suitable for bearing burdens or for food; besides five other kinds of large beasts unknown to us."

    White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Glen Burnie, Maryland, September 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), Glen Burnie, Maryland] Today, still in Maryland, mammals of all shapes and sizes can be found. Many different species of canine, chiroptera (bats), feline, mustelid (badgers and weasels), and rodent are located in the State. Many may be seen at local, national and State parks.

    Making a home in Elkton (Cecil County), Maryland, is a population of White squirrels, a leucistic (differ from albino, as eyes contain pigment) variant of Gray Squirrels.

    Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), Glen Burnie, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Eastern Gray Squirrel, Glen Burnie, Maryland] Due to ecological and sociological changes, some species are few in number and location, but efforts are underway to protect, restore, and maintain these populations. The Delmarva Fox Squirrel, a species found only on the Delmarva Peninsula, recently was removed from the Endangered Species List after its population rebounded. Assateague horses in Maryland are managed by the National Park Service, which maintains a herd of about 105 of them.

    Other species from outside Maryland have found sustainable habitats throughout the State. Originally from the Midwest, coyotes, for example, have settled in Maryland and thrive in both rural areas and suburbs.

    Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Glen Burnie, Maryland, October 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    MARYLAND MAMMALS


    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Bat, Big Brown (Eptesicus fuscus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 4 to 5 inches long, 11 to 13 inch wingspan. Hibernates during winter months.

    Bat, Eastern Small-footed (Myotis leibii)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 2.5 to 3.75 inches long, 8.5 to 9.75 inch wingspan. Hibernates during winter months.

    Bat, Evening (Nycticeius humeralis)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; short-lived (two to five years). Migratory.

    Bat, Hoary (Lasiurus cinereus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 5 to 6 inches long; 15 to 16 inch wingspan. Migratory.

    Bat, Indiana (Myotis sodalis)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera. Hibernates during winter months.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Bat, Little Brown (Myotis lucifugus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 2.4 to 4 inches long, 8.5 to 11 inch wingspan. Hibernates during winter months.

    Bat, Northern Long-eared (Myotis septentrionalis)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; approx. 3.5 inches long. Hibernates during winter months.

    Bat, Red (Lasiurus borealis)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 4 to 5 inches long, 11 to 13 inch wingspan. Migratory (April-Oct.).

    Bat, Silver-haired (Lasionycteris noctivagans)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; approx. 4 inches long, approx. 11 inch wingspan. Primary flight time is early to late evening, so as to avoid competition from other bats. Hibernates during winter months.

    Bat, Tricolored (Perimyotis subflavus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; chiroptera; 2.7 to 3.5 inches long, 8.5 to 9.7 inch wingspan; distinct tri-colored hair (dark brown-yellow-black). Hibernates during winter months. One of the smallest bat species in North America. Also known as Eastern Pipistrelle Bat.


    [photo, Bear track on sand, New Germany State Park, Grantsville, Maryland] Bear, American Black (Ursus americanus)
    Omnivore; crepuscular; ursidae; 5 to 6 feet long, 2.5 to 3 feet tall at shoulder (approx. 7 feet tall when up on two legs), weighs up to 660 lbs. Can reach speeds up to 30 mph. Hibernates during winter months. Most common bear species native to North America.

    Bear track on sand, New Germany State Park, Grantsville, Maryland, October 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Beaver, American (Castor canadensis)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; approx. 3.5 feet long, weighs 33 to 77 lbs.; semi-aquatic; lives ten to twenty years. Largest rodent and only beaver species found in North America.

    Bison, American (Bison bison)
    Herbivore; diurnal; bovine; approx. 6 feet tall, 10 feet long; 900 to 2,200 lbs.; short, curved horns. Herd animal. Can reach speeds up to 39 mph.
    Classified as regionally extinct (no wild herds) in Maryland.

    Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
    Carnivore; crepuscular; feline; 20 to 24 inches tall, 28 to 40 inches long. Climbs and swims.


    Chipmunk, Eastern (Tamias striatus)
    Omnivore; diurnal; rodent; 5 to 6 inches long; striped back. Burrows and climbs. Prefers deciduous forests and urban parks. Hibernates during winter months.

    Cougar (Puma concolor)
    Carnivore; crepuscular; feline; 5 to 9 feet long (including tail), 2 to 2.5 feet tall at shoulders; weighs 64 to 198 lbs. Skilled climber. Can reach speeds up to 45 mph. Can leap up to 18 feet vertically, 40 feet horizontally. Also known as Mountain Lion, Panther, and Puma.
    Classified as regionally extinct (no wild occurrences) in Maryland.

    Coyote (Canis latrans)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; largest wild canine in Maryland; 18 to 24 inches tall at shoulder, generally weighs 30 to 40 lbs. Pack hunter; burrowing animal, yet primarily uses existing burrows and dens. Thrives in human-occupied areas. Can reach speeds up to 43 mph.


    [photo, Deer tracks on sand, New Germany State Park, Grantsville, Maryland] Deer, Sika (Cervus nippon)
    Herbivore; noctural; cervidae; 2.5 feet high at shoulders; weighs 50 to 100 lbs.; dark brown to black coat; white rump; antlers found on males. Found in marshy areas and fields. The Sika Deer is an introduced species. Also known as Japanese Deer and Spotted Deer.

    Deer tracks on sand, New Germany State Park, Grantsville, Maryland, October 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, White-tailed Deer, Glen Burnie, Maryland] Deer, White-tailed (Odocoileus virginianus)
    Herbivore; diurnal; cervidae; 5.2 to 7.3 feet long, 2.7 to 3.3 feet tall at shoulders; weighs 130 to 300 lbs.; characteristic white underside to tail; antlers found on males. Prefers dense forests.

    White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Glen Burnie, Maryland, September 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Dolphin, Atlantic Spotted (Stenella frontalis)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 7 feet long; weighs 300 lbs.; dark gray back and light sides with white belly and spotted throughout. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod. Acrobatic and fast swimmer. Also known as Bridled Dolphin, Gulf Stream Spotted Dolphin, and Spotted Porpoise.

    Dolphin, Atlantic White-sided (Lagenorhynchus acutus)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 8 to 9 feet long; weighs 420 to 500 lbs.; white throat and belly and black flippers, back, and dorsal fin; gray stripe and yellow and white markings along sides, pointed dorsal fin, short snout. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod; Acrobatic and fast swimmer.

    Dolphin, Bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 6 to 13 feet long; weighs 300 to 1,400 lbs.; gray back, light belly, round forehead. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod. Acrobatic and fast swimmer. Also known as Gill's Bottlenose Dolphin.

    Dolphin, Risso's (Grampus griseus)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 10 to 13 feet long; weighs 600 to 1,000 lbs.; bulbous head, large grayish-white body, scarred skin. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod. Acrobatic and fast swimmer. Named after Antoine Risso. Also known as Grampus.

    Dolphin, Short-beaked Common (Delphinus delphis)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 5 to 8 feet long; weighs 200 to 300 lbs.; dark back, white belly, with gray-gold pattern along sides. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod. Acrobatic and fast swimmer. Also known as Common Dolphin and Short-beaked Saddleback Dolphin.

    Dolphin, Striped (Stenella coeruleoalba)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; 8 feet long; weighs 300 to 350 lbs.; blue or gray back, blue or white belly, black stripes run from eyes and ears to flipper and around belly, black fins. Highly intelligent. Lives in pod. Acrobatic and fast swimmer. Also known as Blue-white Dolphin and Streaker.


    Elk, American (Cervus elaphus)
    Herbivore; diurnal; cervidae; 6.3 to 8 feet long, 4.5 to 5 feet tall at shoulders; weighs 500 to 700 lbs.; antlers found on males. Herd animal.
    Once extinct on East Coast, elk were reintroduced in neighboring states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. These populations spread into Maryland.

    Ermine (Mustela erminea)
    Carnivore; nocturnal; mustelid; up to 12 inches long; distinct black-tipped tail. Burrows, climbs, and swims. Also known as Stoat, or Short-tailed Weasel.


    Fisher (Martes pennanti)
    Carnivorous; diurnal; mustelid; 26 to 49 inches long. Burrows and climbs. Prefers coniferous and mixed forests.

    Fox, Gray (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
    Carnivore; crepuscular; canine; 31 to 41 inches long; weighs 8 to 15 lbs.; distinct black-tipped tail. Skilled climber. Solitary hunter.

    Fox, Red (Vulpes vulpes)
    Carnivore; crepuscular; canine; 18 to 35 inches long; weighs 8 to 17 lbs.; distinct black-tipped feet, and white-tipped tail. Solitary hunter. Can reach speeds up to 45 mph.


    Groundhog. See: Woodchuck.


    Hare, Snowshoe (Lepus americanus)
    Herbivore; crepuscular; leporidae; 14.5 to 15.5 inches long; fur turns white in winter, and brown in warmer months; black-tipped ears all year. Prefers farmlands and meadows.
    Classified as Endangered.
    [photo, Feral horse [Assateague horse], Assateague Island National Park Seashore (Worcester County), Maryland] Horse, Feral (Equus caballus)
    Herbivore; diurnal; equine; 4.4 to 5.4 feet tall at shoulders; found primarily on Assateague Island, with a herd protected at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Worcester County. The National Park Service maintains the horses in Maryland. The Feral Horse is an introduced species. Also known as Assateague Pony or Chincoteage Pony.

    Feral horse [Assateague horse], Assateague Island National Park Seashore (Worcester County), May 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    The origin of the ponies of Assateague Island is unknown. Some speculate that they arrived in the 17th or 18th century, escaping from shipwrecked vessels by swimming to shore. Others contend that early settlers left the horses to roam on the Island to avoid taxes and duties on grazing land.


    Lemming, Southern Bog (Synaptomys cooperi)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; approx. 5.5 inches long (including tail). Burrows.


    Manatee, West Indian (Trichechus manatus)
    Herbivore; trichechidae; 9 to 13 feet long; weighs 800 to 1300 lbs.; thick, gray body, large upper lip, short snout, paddle-like tail. Generally slow-moving, but capable of short bursts of speed. Intelligent. Lives alone or in small herds. Also known as Sea Cow.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Marten, American (Martes americana)
    Carnivore; nocturnal; mustelid. Skilled climber. Prefers coniferous and mixed forests.

    Mink (Mustela vison)
    Carnivore; nocturnal; mustelid; 18.4 to 28 inches long. Semi-aquatic.

    Mole, Eastern (Scalopus aquaticus)
    Omnivore; diurnal; talpidae; approx. 5.1 to 8.4 inches long (including tail). Solitary.

    Mole, Hairy-tailed (Parascalops breweri)
    Omnivore; diurnal; talpidae; approx. 6.5 inches long. Solitary. Primarily subterranean.

    Mole, Star-nosed (Condylura cristata)
    Omnivore; diurnal; talpidae; 6 to 8 inches long; distinct pink tentacles on snout. Primarily subterranean. Semi-aquatic.

    Mouse, Deer (Peromyscus maniculatus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 5 to 8.5 inches long (including tail); distinct multicolored tail.

    Mouse, Eastern Harvest (Reithrodontomys humulis)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 4 to 5 inches long (including tail). Prefers damp, open habitats.

    Mouse, House (Mus musculus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 5 to 8 inches long (including tail). Thrives in close proximity to humans. The House Mouse is an introduced species.

    Mouse, Meadow Jumping (Zapus hudsonius)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 7 to 9.5 inches long (including tail). Swims and burrows. Can leap up to 12 feet horizontally. Prefers damp, open habitats.

    Mouse, White-footed (Peromyscus leucopus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 6 to 8 inches long (including tail); distinct feet (including ankles) are completely white. Prefers mixed forests. Also known as White-footed Deermouse and Wood Mouse.

    Mouse, Woodland Jumping (Napaeozapus insignis)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 8 to 10 inches long (including tail). Burrows. Can leap up to 10 feet horizontally. Hibernates during winter months.

    Muskrat, Common (Ondatra zibethicus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 16 to 24 inches long; long, narrow, scaled tail. Semi-aquatic. Burrows.


    Nutria (Myocastor coypus)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; up to 24 inches long. Semi-aquatic. The Nutria is an invasive species. Also known as Swamp Rat.


    Opossum, Virginia (Didelphis virginiana)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; marsupial; 15 to 20 inches long; distinct white face. Skilled climber. Known for "playing possum" when frightened. Also known simply as Possum, or North American Opossum.

    Otter, Northern River (Lutra canadensis)
    Carnivore; 35 to 55 inches long; webbed feet and water-repellant fur. Semi-aquatic. Burrows.


    Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; distinct covering of barbed quills. Skilled climber. Prefers coniferous and mixed forests. Also known as Canadian Porcupine, and North American Porcupine.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Porpoise, Harbor (Phocoena phocoena)
    Carnivore; phocoenidae; 4 to 6 feet long; weighs 130 to 180 lbs; gray back, flippers, dorsal and tail fins, gray sides, white belly, gray stripes along throat, triangular dorsal fin. Lives alone or in small pod. Also known as Common Porpoise and Puffing Pig.


    [photo, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Glen Burnie, Maryland] Rabbit, Appalachian Cottontail (Sylvilagus obscurus)
    Herbivore; crepuscular; leporidae; 15.5 to 17 inches long; weighs 1.75 to 2.5 lbs. Almost indistinct from Sylvilagus floridanus, but its distinct separating feature is the dark patch of fur between its ears. Can reach speeds up to 18 mph.

    Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), Glen Burnie, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Eastern Cottontail Rabbit, Annapolis, Maryland] Rabbit, Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
    Herbivore; crepuscular; leporidae; 15.5 to 17 inches long; weighs 1.75 to 2.5 lbs. Almost indistinct from Sylvilagus obscurus. Can reach speeds up to 18 mph.

    Eastern Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus), Annapolis, Maryland, August 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; procyonidae; 16 to 28 inches long, 9 to 12 inches tall at shoulders; distinct "bandit mask" coloring around eyes. Skilled climber. Prefers deciduous or mixed forests with access to water; adapted to urban areas.

    Rat, Black (Rattus rattus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 6 to 8 inches long; approx. 8 inch long tail; may be colors other than black. Skilled climber. The Black Rat is an introduced species.

    Rat, Marsh Rice (Oryzomys palustris)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 8.2 to 9 inches long. Semi-aquatic. Prefers marshes and swamps.

    Rat, Norway (Rattus norvegicus)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; approx. 16 inches long (including tail). Burrows. The Norway Rat is an introduced species. Also known as Brown Rat, Common Rat, Hanover Rat, Norwegian Rat, and Wharf Rat.


    Seal, Gray (Halichoerus grypus)
    Carnivore; diurnal; pinnipedia; 5 to 11 feet long. Distinguished from harbor seal by longer face and fewer spots on body. Migratory. Also known as Grey Seal, Atlantic Grey Seal, and Horsehead Seal.

    Seal, Harbor (Phoca vitulina)
    Carnivore; diurnal; pinnipedia; up to 6.1 feet long. May be brown, gray, or tan in color. Distinguished from gray seals by shorter nose, and mottled coloring. Migratory.

    Seal, Harp (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
    Carnivore; phocidae; 5 to 6 feet long; 300 to 400 pounds; gray-silver body, black eyes, harp-shaped markings on back. Migratory. Lives in colonies.

    Seal, Hooded (Cystophora cristata)
    Carnivore; phocidae; 6 to 8 feet long; 300 to 600 pounds; gray-silver body, black heads, dark spots on body, inflatable nasal septum and sac or hood on male's head. Migratory. Lives alone.

    Shrew, Cinereus (Sorex cinereus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; approx. 3.9 inches long (including tail). Burrows. Prefers moist forest areas, and marshlands. Also known as Common Shrew and Masked Shrew.

    Shrew, Least (Cryptotis parva)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 3 to 3.5 inches long (including tail); venomous saliva (painful, but not lethal to humans). Burrows. Also known as North American Least Shrew, Small Short-tailed Shrew and Bee Shrew.

    Shrew, Long-tailed (Sorex dispar)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 2.5 to 7 inches long (including tail). Burrows. Prefers forested, mountainous regions. Also known as Rock Shrew.

    Shrew, Northern Short-tailed (Blarina brevicauda)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 4.3 to 5.5 inches long (including tail); venomous saliva (painful, but not lethal to humans). Burrows, and climbs.

    Shrew, Smoky (Sorex fumeus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 4 to 5 inches long (including tail). Primarily nests in ground debris, or rotted logs. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests.

    Shrew, Southeastern (Sorex longirostris)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; approx. 4 inches long (including tail). Primarily nests in ground debris, or rotted logs. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests.

    Shrew, Southern Pygmy (Sorex hoyi winnemana)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 3 to 3.5 inches (including tail); weighs 2 to 3 grams; can jump 4.5 inches vertically. Primarily nests in ground debris, or rotted logs. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests. Smallest mammal (by weight) in North America. Subspecies of American Pygmy Shrew.

    Shrew, Southern Water (Sorex palustris punctulatus)
    Insectivore; nocturnal; soricidae; 5 to 6.7 inches long (including tail). Semi-aquatic; can “walk” on water. Prefers deciduous forest near streams or ponds. Subspecies of American Water Shrew.

    Skunk, Eastern Spotted (Spilogale putorius)
    Omnivore; crepuscular; mephitidae; 16 to 23 inches; distinct "broken" pattern to stripes, giving impression of spots. Sprays an odorous secretion as a defense mechanism.

    Skunk, Striped (Mephitis mephitis)
    Omnivore; crepuscular; mephitidae; 13 to 18 inches long (excluding tail); weighs 6 to 8 lbs.; distinct stripe pattern running from head to tail. Sprays an odorous secretion as a defense mechanism.

    Squirrel, Delmarva Fox (Sciurus niger cinereus)
    Granivore; diurnal; rodent; approx. 15 inches long (excluding tail). Skilled climber. Can jump more than 15 feet horizontally. Primarily nests in tree hollows. Prefers mixed forests of large trees. Subspecies of Eastern Fox Squirrel.


    [photo, Eastern Fox Squirrel, Glen Burnie, Maryland] Squirrel, Eastern Fox (Sciurus niger)
    Granivore; diurnal; rodent; 10 to 14.5 inches long (excluding tail). Skilled climber. Can jump more than 15 feet horizontally. Prefers deciduous forests.

    Squirrel, Eastern Gray (Sciurus carolinensis)
    Granivore; crepuscular; rodent; approx. 9.7 inches long (excluding tail); fur is varying shades of gray, with occasional hints of brown. Skilled climber. Builds nests in trees. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests.

    Eastern Fox Squirrel, Glen Burnie, Maryland, January 2011. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Squirrel, Red (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)
    Granivore; diurnal; rodent; 7 to 8 inches long (excluding tail); distinct white belly. Climbs and swims. Prefers coniferous forests.

    Squirrel, Southern Flying (Glaucomys volans)
    Omnivore; nocturnal; rodent; 11.5 to 14.2 inches long (including tail); skilled climber; distinct membrane connecting front and rear legs. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests. Can glide great distances; uses tail to steer in midair. Also known as Eastern Flying Squirrel.


    Vole, Meadow (Microtus pennsylvanicus)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; approx. 6.3 inches long (including tail). Burrows. Prefers farmlands and meadows. Also known as Field Mouse, or Meadow Mouse.

    Vole, Rock (Microtus chrotorrhinus)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; approx. 8 inches long (including tail); distinct yellow-tipped nose. Burrows. Also known as Yellow-nosed Vole.

    Vole, Southern Red-backed (Myodes gapperi)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; 4.3 to 6.7 inches long (including tail); distinct chestnut brown stripe running from head to tail. Burrows.

    Vole, Woodland (Microtus pinetorum)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; 4 to 6.2 inches long (including tail). Burrows. Prefers deciduous and mixed forests.


    Weasel, Least (Mustela nivalis)
    Carnivore; both diurnal and nocturnal; mustelid; approx. 9 inches long (including tail); distinct short tail. Burrows. Prefers farmlands and meadows. Also known as Dwarf Weasel, Pygmy Weasel, and Mouse Weasel.

    Weasel, Long-tailed (Mustela frenata)
    Carnivore; both diurnal and nocturnal; mustelid; 14 to 48 inches long (including tail); distinct black-tipped tail. Climbs and swims. Solitary hunter.

    Whale, Blue (Balaenoptera musculus)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 110 feet long; weighs up to 165 tons; long, tapered blue-gray back with light belly; ridge from blowhole to upper lip; baleen plates in mouth, grooves or pleats along throat. Capable of short bursts of speed. Lives alone or in a pair. Largest and heaviest animal in the world. Also known as Sulphur Bottom.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, Common Minke (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 35 feet long; weighs up to 10 tons; dark gray-black back with white belly; gray streak between pectoral fins; two gray-white patches around middle; lower jaw extends further than upper; baleen plates in mouth, grooves or pleats along throat; pointed snout, white stripe on flippers. Lives in small pod. Also known as Least Rorqual Whale, Piked Whale, and Sharp-headed Finner.

    Whale, Cuvier's Beaked (Ziphius cavirostris)
    Carnivore; ziphiidae; 16 to 24 feet long; weighs up to 6,800 pounds; cigar-shaped gray or brown-red back with light belly; often covered with scars and scratches; white stripe along back; males have a pair of teeth on lower jaw's tip; small concave head and short beak; small flippers can be tucked into body. Lives in small pod; barely visible at surface. Named for Georges Cuvier, who first described them. Also known as Goose-beaked Whale.

    Whale, Dwarf Sperm (Kogia simus)
    Carnivore; kogiidae; up to 9 feet long; weighs 300 to 600 pounds; gray-blue or brown wrinkled back with white-pink belly; dark bulging eyes; white false gill plate; shark-like head with pointed snout with curved teeth; "spermaceti organ" in head that contains oil. Emits red ink-like substance if frightened. Lives in small pod.

    Whale, Fin (Balaenoptera physalus)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 85 feet long; weighs up to 80 tons; sleek, slender black or gray-brown back with white belly; right lower jaw is white while left is black; underside of tail is white with gray outline; "V"-shaped head with gray marks behind it; baleen plates in mouth, pleats along throat. Fast swimmer. Feeds by lunging into prey schools. Lives in small pod. Also known as Common Rorqual, Finback Whale, and Razorback.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 60 feet long; weighs up to 40 tons; gray-black stocky back with mottled belly; arches or humps back before dive; flippers are black or white on top, white on bottom with knob-like forms on the front edges; hairy tubercles or nodules on head and lower jaw; long pectoral fins; baleen plates in mouth, pleats along throat. Pigmentation pattern on underside of tail or fluke similar to human fingerprint. Acrobatic, known for breaching and slapping fins or tail against the water. Males "sing" songs that change over time, though all males in a population sing the same song. Traps prey in "bubble nets" before lunging in. Lives alone or in small pod.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, Killer (Orcinus orca)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; up to 32 feet long; weighs up to 11 tons; black back with white belly and white patches near eyes; tall dorsal fin with white or gray "saddle" or patch behind it. Teeth can grow up to 4 inches long. Hunts prey in groups, similar to wolf packs. Intelligent. Lives in small matriarchal pod. Also known as Blackfish, Orca, and Sea Wolf.

    Whale, Long-finned Pilot (Globicephala melas)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; up to 25 feet long; weighs up to 5,000 pounds; black, gray or brown body with white markings; square, sometimes creased, forehead or melon; long, sickle-shaped flippers. Lives in matriarchal pod. Also known as Blackfish and Pothead.

    Whale, Melon-headed (Peponocephala electra)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; up to 9 feet long; weights up to 460 pounds; gray torpedo-shaped body with darker "cape" or patch around tall dorsal fin and dark "mask" on face; round head. Fast swimmer. Lives in pod. Also known as Many-toothed Blackfish and Electra Dolphin.

    Whale, North Atlantic Right (Eubalaena glacialis)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 50 feet long; weighs up to 70 tons; large callus-covered head and thick black or gray body; lack dorsal fin; thick blubber layer; baleen plates in mouth. Skims the surface for crustaceans. Slow swimmer. Lives alone or in small pod. Also known as Biscayan Right Whale.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, Pygmy Sperm (Kogia breviceps)
    Carnivore; kogiidae; up to 12 feet long; weighs up to 1,000 pounds; gray-blue or brown back with pink or white belly and wrinkled skin; circular marking around bulging eyes with false gill plate behind; shark-like head with pointed snout; "spermaceti organ" in head that contains oil. Emits brown-red ink-like substance if frightened. Lives in small pod.

    Whale, Sei (Balaenoptera borealis)
    Carnivore; balaenopteridae; up to 60 feet long; weighs up to 50 tons; sleek gray-blue or black back with light belly is often scarred; tall, hooked dorsal fin; baleen plates in mouth, pleats along throat. Blows at surface can be up to 13 feet high. Fast swimmer. Lives in small pod. Name is Norwegian for pollock.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, Short-finned Pilot (Globicephala macrorhynchus)
    Carnivore; delphinidae; up to 24 feet long; weighs up to 6,600 pounds; square head and black, gray, or brown back with white or gray "saddle" or patch behind dorsal fin; white-gray patch on belly and throat and white-gray stripe behind eyes; pointed flippers. Lives in pod.

    Whale, Sperm (Physeter macrocephalus)
    Carnivore; physeteridae; up to 52 feet long; weighs up to 45 tons; large head and gray back with occasional white markings on belly; ridged, wrinkled back; mouth's interior can be white; "spermaceti organ" in head that contains oil; blowhole on left side of head. Largest brain on Earth. Can stay submerged for over an hour. Lives alone or in pods. Also known as Cachalot.
    Classified as Endangered.

    Whale, True's Beaked (Mesoplodon mirus)
    Carnivore; ziphiidae; up to 17 feet long; weighs up to 3,000 pounds; brown or gray back with lighter belly and dark patches around eyes, mouth, and dorsal fin; crease behind blowhole; wide midsection. Males usually are scarred and have a pair of teeth on tip of lower jaw. Lives alone or in pods. Named for Frederick W. True, who first described them.

    Wolf, Gray (Canis lupus)
    Carnivore; both diurnal and nocturnal; canine; 3.5 to 5.5 feet long, 2 to 3 feet tall at shoulder. Pack hunter. Can reach speeds up to 40 mph.
    Classified as Endangered, the gray wolf is regionally extinct (no wild occurrences) in Maryland.


    [photo, Woodchuck, also known as Groundhog, Havre de Grace, Maryland] Woodchuck (Marmota monax)
    Omnivore; crepuscular; rodent. Burrows, climbs, and swims. Hibernates in winter months. Also known as Groundhog.

    Woodchuck (Marmota monax), also known as Groundhog, Havre de Grace, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    Woodrat, Allegheny (Neotoma magister)
    Herbivore; nocturnal; rodent; 8 to 10 inches long, 7 to 8 inch tail; distinct furred tail. Prefers caves, mines, and rocky areas.

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