Collared Lemming

Another of our Artic friends, the collared lemming is particularly interesting because he has adapted so well to the Arctic.

The Collared Lemming is not a “true” lemming in every sense of the word, but it is a small rodent type animal that burrows beneath the snow to make long tunnels and nesting rooms. Due to its home being in snow and ice, it sports some very enlarged claws in the center nails of its front feet.

Collared Lemming Collared Lemming
Collared Lemming

The arctic lemming is about 4 inches long and weighs in at a trim 40 grams, or about a pound. It is grey in color with black stripes that run down both sides of its head and back.

This particular lemming has much smaller ears and a shorter tail than others of its species and is the only actual rodent that has a winter coat which will turn white in the wintertime and back to its natural coloration in the summer..

Mating season

Can be from January on-wards with some females attaining heat during the early months of the year.

This is uncommon, with most breeding happening from spring to autumn, usually happen from March to September.

Most of the time during breeding season, all of the females will be pregnant at one time or another. Very rarely is a female not pregnant during mating season, even if she has a litter still nursing.

Each female Lemming will have about 4 little ones per litter, but she may have as many as 3 litters per year. Only about 50% of the little lemmings who are born will survive.

They are born blind and deaf, under the snow and will drink mother’s milk for the first few months to survive.

Adult Lemmings in the Arctic will eat grass, bark and twigs from trees. Very few lemmings live more than a year in the wild.

These Lemmings live only in the Arctic. During the summer they will live in drier areas of the tundra and burrow under rocks and soil, while in the winter they will migrate to meadows where the snow is more plentiful.

The Natives of the Arctic often use lemming fur from the winter coat of the lemming, when it has turned to white, to trim their clothing and make play things for the children.

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