(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Norway lemming, additionally Norwegian lemming, scientific name Lemmus lemmus is a typical species of lemming present in northern Fennoscandia. It is the one vertebrate species endemic to the area. The Norway lemming dwells in tundra and fells and prefers to dwell close to water. In this article I am going to talk about Norwegian Lemming pet, attack, aggressive, vs cat, etc.

Norwegian Lemming profile

Adults feed totally on sedges, grasses, and moss. They are living each day and night, alternating naps with intervals of exercise.

Geographic Range

Norway lemmings are distributed throughout Fennoscandia, an area stretching from the Russian Kola Peninsula to the west coast of Norway and from the northern coast of Norway south to the Baltic Sea. However, Lemmus lemmus might migrate additional south if the species goes by way of population growth.

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Norwegian Lemming Description

Norway lemmings weigh between 20 and 130 g. Body size ranges from eight to 17.5 cm. They have thick bodies with heavy coats for sustaining body warmth in opposition to the cold.

The Norwegian Lemming fur color is black and brown with some golden-yellow streaks. The underbelly is a lighter color than the remainder of their fur. Norway lemmings retain the same fur color, no matter season, and the men and women are usually comparable in size and color.

They do not need a conspicuous tail. Their teeth are attributed to their subfamily, Microtinae: 12 molars, four incisors, and flattened crowns. Their limbs are brief and mostly tucked beneath the body.

The Norwegian Lemming claw of the first digit on every paw is bigger and flatter than the remainder of the claws. This modification helps lemmings to tunnel by way of snow. Their basal metabolic fee is 1.0710 W.

The Norway lemming has a daring pattern of black and yellow-brown, which is variable between people. It grows to a size of 155 mm. The tail may be very brief (10 – 19 mm). It weighs as much as 130 g. The dental method is 1/1, 0/0, 3/3.

Norwegian Lemming Habitat

Norway lemmings are present in the tundra and alpine areas. During the winter they dwell in insulated areas beneath the snow. This supplies them with heat, shelter, entry to meals, and safety from predators. Having this shelter offers younger lemmings a greater likelihood of survival.

On occasions without snow cover, Norway lemmings might dwell in a wide range of bogs, marshes, and different moist terrestrial habitats. They additionally inhabit heathland the place dwarf shrubs are the primary vegetation. Norway lemmings discover security by digging shallow burrows or by occupying already fashioned areas underground.


No information is presently accessible particularly on communication and notion in Norway lemmings. Voles and lemmings have well-developed senses, resembling odor and listening to.

Some species of lemmings use scents to mark boundaries, and plenty of species of lemmings can acknowledge members of their very own species by their scents. Voles and lemmings use totally different requires misery, aggression, and mating. Each species has a novel set of calls.

Food Habits

Norway lemmings are herbivorous. They primarily eat mosses, lichens, bark, and a few types of grass. Mosses thrive when there was an adequate amount of snow over the winter. Food could also be tough or harmful.

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The oldest recorded Norway lemming was a specimen in captivity that lived for 3.Three years. Lemmus species usually dwell for 1 to 2 years.

Norwegian Lemming Migration

During inhabitants peaks, Norway lemmings exhibit massive scale dispersal. While many different rodents experience inhabitants peaks, Norway lemmings are the one species that can embark on long-distance migrations. Their migrations have grown to be well-known by way of legends and tales.

One widespread false impression is that lemmings set out on these migrations with the intent to drown themselves within the sea. Although mass drowning of lemmings do happen on these migrations (it’s the primary reason behind dying on the journey), lemmings will not be suicidal.

In regular circumstances, lemmings are literally capable of swim pretty effectively; nevertheless, the sheer variety of lemmings and the upcoming impediment before them appears to set off a panic impact within the creatures inflicting them to drown throughout the crossing. This phenomenon is one more reason why lemming inhabitants cycles are so effectively studied.

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Norwegian Lemming Behavior

The Norway lemming has a dramatic three- to four-year inhabitants cycle, during which the species’ inhabitants periodically rises to unsustainable ranges, resulting in high mortality, which causes the inhabitants to crash once more.

The Norway lemming spends the winter in nests beneath the snow. When the spring thaws start and the snow begins to break down, they need to migrate to higher ground, the place the snow remains to be agency sufficient for security, or, more generally, to decrease ground, the place they spend the summer season months.

In autumn, they need to time their move back to sheltered higher ground rigorously, leaving after alpine snow cover is out there for his or her burrows and nests, and before the lowlands are made uninhabitable by frost and ice.

When the seasons are notably good (brief winters without sudden thaws or freezes, and long summers), the Norway lemming inhabitants can enhance exponentially; they attain sexual maturity lower than a month after birth, and breed year-round if circumstances are right, producing a litter of six to eight younger each three to 4 weeks.

Being solitary creatures by nature, the stronger lemmings drive the weaker and youthful ones off long before a food scarcity happens.

The younger lemmings disperse in random instructions searching for vacant territory. Where geographical options constrain their actions and channel them into a comparatively slim hall, massive numbers can construct up, resulting in social friction, misery, and eventually, a mass panic can observe, the place they flee in all instructions.

Lemmings do migrate, and in huge numbers typically, the however notion of a deliberate march into the ocean is fake.

Despite their diminutive size, when confronted at shut quarters by a possible predator Norway lemmings characteristically grow to be extremely aggressive. They have additionally been recognized to assault approaching people.

It has been advised that they might be thought of as aposematic species, in that they seem to discourage predation through the use of their outstanding coloration, loud calls, and aggressive behavior to promote their capability to hurt small predators (in distinction to the much less conspicuous voles).

On the opposite hand, when seen from a distance, their coloration may additionally facilitate a cryptic defense possibility by serving to them to fade into the background.

Norwegian Lemming Reproduction

Norway lemmings are capable of reproducing quickly they usually breed year-round. On average, sexual maturity is reached at Three weeks for females (though a 2 week old pregnant feminine has been recorded) and at one month for males.

They can produce a litter each Three to four weeks with a gestation interval of 16 days. Members of the genus Lemmus might have gestation intervals lasting between 16 and 23 days. Each litter of Norway lemmings yields between 5 and 13 younger.

The time to weaning for this genus is often 14 to 16 days, and the delivery weight of Lemmus younger is 3.Three grams. Members of this genus additionally experience post-partum estrous, so the feminine could also be pregnant together with her next litter whereas nonetheless caring for the younger from her earlier litter.

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Ecosystem Roles

During inhabitants peaks, when there are as much as 134 lemmings per acre, the injury that Norway lemmings inflict on vegetation can take the world as much as 4 years to get better from.

While the impact on the tundra panorama could be detrimental throughout these occasions, the impact on predator populations could be positive.

For instance, Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) have a higher likelihood of recolonizing a space when lemmings are considerable and when their competitor, red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), don’t dwell within the space.

Norway lemmings are hunted by each of those foxes, and Arctic foxes focus on searching lemmings particularly. It has been advised that having more information on Norway lemming populations may assist perceive how one can assist threatened Arctic fox populations.


The IUCN states that the populations of Norway lemmings are stable and of least concern for endangerment. Possible future threats embody local weather change and grazing of different herbivores which reduces lemming habitat. Overall, Norway lemmings are a moderately profitable species within the space the place they live.

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