Gigantic Guinea Pigs!
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 3 to 6
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||buffalo-sized, croc, heroine, pattersoni, ratty, rodere, eaters, ancient, guinea, predator, section, almost, nightmare, incisor, mammal, easily
||South America, For Phoebe
Gigantic Guinea Pigs!
By Colleen Messina
1 Almost everything in the ancient world was big. Even the rodents! If a rodent from long ago wanted to play in a hamster wheel, it would have to have been a large one. One prehistoric rodent grew as large as a buffalo. It would need a hamster wheel that was longer than a car!
2 Rodents have been around for a long time. Rodents have frantically scurried, gnawed, and nibbled for millions of years. Today between 2,000 and 3,000 kinds of rodents exist. They live on all continents. The biggest one is the capybaras, which looks like a large dog. It's 4 feet long and weighs 150 pounds. It could almost be called cute in a ratty sort of way. Smaller rodents include the mice that nibble on cheese in your mousetraps or drive your cat crazy. Other rodents today include guinea pigs, hamsters, and squirrels.
3 Rodents have done well because they don't care if it is hot or cold, dusty or snowy. They can live in many different environments. They aren't picky eaters. They love large families, which is why there are so many of them. Rodents have special equipment, too. Their wonderful teeth can chew through wood. They have sharp incisor teeth on their upper and lower jaws. These teeth grow all the time! For rodents, gnawing is a full time job. The Latin word rodere means to gnaw.
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