Latin name: Lemmus
size: 8 - 12cm
mass: about 50 - 100g
Older: 6 - 36 months
Appearance: different coat colors possible, i.a. brown, black, gray
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Herbivore (hervibor)
food: Moss, grasses, bark
distribution: Northern Europe, North America and North Asia
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight active
natural enemies: Snowy Owl, Arctic Fox
sexual maturity: occurs about the second month of life
mating season: ?
gestation: 20 days
litter size: 2 - 8 kitten
social behavior: Colonial animal
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the lemming
- The Real Lemmings or Lemmus describe a multiple species within the voles, which are native to the cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
- Scientists still do not agree on the species that belong to the genus of the true lemmings.
- The most well-known lemmings are steppe lemming or Lagurus lagurus, Siberian lemming and mountain glemming.
- Lemmings colonize tundra and steppe of northern Europe, North America and North Asia.
- They are between six and fifteen inches long and are of a cylindrical body with a large and tapering skull.
- The short and thick coat appears in greyish brown tones and shows the typical black eel line on the back.
- The short legs allow the lemming to move quickly. He achieves running speeds of up to five kilometers per hour.
- Due to the high population pressure, lemmas are mass-occurring in some areas, while the numbers in other years are significantly lower.
- The cyclical increase is evident in a rhythm of four years.
- Due to the explosive propagation it comes to real mass migrations, if the feed supply is too small and many animals move to other regions.
- Many lemmings die as a result of the effort of migrating as they drown or starve on their route.
- These cyclical multiplications and migrations affect the survival of the snowy owls, for which the lemmings are the most important food source.
- Many lemmings also fall prey to polar foxes and wolves, weasels and falconry gulls.
- Lemmings feed mainly on moss, herbs, grasses and berries.
- The young are born after a gestation period of about three weeks and remain in the sheltered building for the first few days, so as not to freeze over the frosty temperatures of the Arctic winter.
- They weigh little more than a gram at birth and develop very quickly. Already at the age of four weeks, they are sexually mature.
- The life expectancy of the lemmings is comparatively low with a maximum of three years. However, many animals do not even survive the first year.