Field Guide

Mammals

Showing 1 - 10 of 26 results
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
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
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
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 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
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
Short-tailed shrew pointing its head upward
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sorex, Blarina, and Cryptotis spp.
Description
Six species of shrews occur in Missouri. They are mouselike but do not have the chisel-like front teeth of rodents. Instead, they have sharp, spiky teeth for hunting prey.
Media
Image of an armadillo
Species Types
Scientific Name
Dasypus novemcinctus
Description
There’s no other animal in Missouri that can be mistaken for an armadillo! Fifty years ago, they were not considered residents, but now they are regularly found in the southern half of the state.
Media
Silver-haired bat in flight.
Species Types
Scientific Name
About 14 species in Missouri
Description
Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight. At least 14 species of bats occur in Missouri; they are all relatively small, and they eat insects. Many of them are declining.
Media
Photo of badger
Species Types
Scientific Name
Taxidea taxus
Description
An excellent digger, the American badger is a powerful predators of rodents in grasslands and other open areas. Note its brawny build, impressive digging claws, and the black and white facial pattern.
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.