Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 20 results
Media
Photo of a beaver half in water
Species Types
Scientific Name
Castor canadensis
Description
The American beaver is a semiaquatic rodent distinguished by its large size, webbed hind feet, and large, horizontally flattened tail covered with leathery scales.
Media
large, dark bison in snowy field
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bos bison
Description
The largest mammal to occur in Missouri during historic times, the bison lives in wild and semi-wild herds on private ranges and on public lands, where people can see them and imagine the immense herds that used to be.
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.
Media
Photograph of a muskrat standing on grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ondatra zibethicus
Description
The common muskrat is one of the most abundant commercial furbearers in Missouri. This semiaquatic rodent has benefited from the construction of thousands of farm ponds throughout the state.
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.
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.