Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 12 results
Media
coyote walking through grassland
Species Types
Scientific Name
Canis latrans
Description
The coyote is a much-maligned member of the dog family. It does a great service to the ecosystem by helping to hold populations of rabbits and mice in check. In addition, their yips and barks add auditory excitement to rural nights.
Media
Image of eastern cottontail
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sylvilagus floridanus
Description
The eastern cottontail is a rabbit with a perfect name. Its tail, when raised, has a conspicuously white undersurface, resembling a fluff of cotton.
Media
Image of a gray squirrel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sciurus carolinensis and Sciurus niger
Description
The eastern gray squirrel and eastern fox squirrel are both very common in Missouri. Their names describe their general coat color: the first is grayish, the other a foxy red.
Media
Photo of a bull elk lifting its head and bugling
Species Types
Elk
Scientific Name
Cervus canadensis (also called C. elaphus)
Description
Very large members of the deer family, elk are brown or tan above with darker underparts, with a thick neck and yellowish-brown rump patch and tail. Elk have been restored in three Ozark counties.
Media
Image of a feral hog
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sus scrofa
Description
Feral hogs could cost Missouri millions of dollars in agricultural, environmental and property damage. As they root and wallow, they plow the soil to depths of 2–8 inches — sometimes for many acres! And this is just the beginning of the trouble they can cause to humans, livestock, and the environment.
Media
Photo of a gray fox
Species Types
Scientific Name
Urocyon cinereoargenteus
Description
There are two species of foxes in Missouri. The gray fox is more likely to be seen in the southern half of the state, climbs trees readily and is less desired by both fox hunters and fur trappers.
Media
Collared, grayish-tan wolf in open field
Species Types
Scientific Name
Canis lupus
Description
The gray wolf originally ranged throughout Missouri, but with settlement the species was gradually exterminated. While there is no evidence of a breeding population in the state, wolves are listed as a protected species in Missouri, and they occasionally wander into Missouri from northern states.
Media
Photo of a deer mouse in its nest made of dry grasses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Peromyscus maniculatus
Description
The North American deermouse is found statewide, usually in open habitats like fields and grasslands. It, and our other three species of Peromyscus mice, look a lot alike.
Media
photo of a thirteen-lined ground squirrel
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ictidomys tridecemlineatus
Description
The thirteen-lined ground squirrel has 13 alternating brown and whitish lines (some may be broken into spots) along its back and sides, creating rows of whitish spots within dark lines. It stands upright to survey its surroundings and dives into its burrow when it senses danger.
Media
Photo of two prairie voles in a nest made of dried grasses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Microtus ochrogaster, M. pinetorum, and M. pennsylvanicus
Description
There are three species of voles in Missouri: prairie, meadow, and woodland voles. These mouselike rodents have rounded, blunt snouts, chisel-shaped front teeth, and short tails.
See Also

About Mammals in Missouri

More than 70 species of wild mammals live in Missouri: opossums; shrews and moles; bats; rabbits; woodchuck, squirrels, beaver, mice, voles, and other rodents; coyote, foxes, bear, raccoon, weasels, otter, mink, skunks, bobcat, and other carnivores; deer and elk; and more. Most of us recognize mammals easily — they have fur, are warm-blooded, nurse their young, and breathe air.