Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 17 results
Media
Opossum in snow
Species Types
Scientific Name
Didelphis virginiana
Description
The Virginia opossum is North America's only marsupial. Its life history, biology, and habits make this nocturnal mammal worthy of appreciation. What other mammal in our state can hang by its tail, play dead, and carry its young in a pouch?
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 red fox
Species Types
Scientific Name
Vulpes vulpes
Description
The red fox is doglike, with a long, pointed muzzle; large, pointed ears that are usually held erect and forward; moderately long legs; and a long, bushy tail.
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
Image of a mountain lion
Species Types
Scientific Name
Puma concolor
Description
Mountain lions hadn't been seen in Missouri since 1927 — but in 1994, conclusive physical evidence proved they are reappearing in our state. These animals probably are individuals dispersing from other states, and no breeding population seems to have been reestablished.
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 a spotted skunk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Spilogale putorius
Description
Of the two species of skunks in Missouri, the eastern spotted skunk is less common and lesser known. It has been declining drastically in recent years because of habitat loss.
Media
Raccoon in tree
Species Types
Scientific Name
Procyon lotor
Description
When you see the black mask and striped tail of this medium-sized mammal, you know you’ve spotted a raccoon. These nocturnal omnivores are clever and adaptive.
Media
Photograph of a striped skunk walking
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mephitis mephitis
Description
Skunks are omnivorous mammals notorious for their ability to discharge an obnoxious scent when provoked, and the striped skunk is the most commonly encountered skunk in our state.
Media
Photo of two bears
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ursus americanus
Description
One of the largest wild mammals in Missouri, the American black bear is unmistakable with its black fur and powerful bearing.
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.