What is a pika?
- Pikas are lagomorphs, meaning they are close relatives of rabbits and hares.
- They are NOT rodents (though some of their neighbors, such as marmots, squirrels, and woodrats, are rodents).
- There are 25 species of pikas throughout the world. Twenty-three of them live in Asia, ranging from Afghanistan to Japan.
- There are 2 species of pikas in North America:
- - Ochotona collaris, or the collared pika lives in Canada and Alaska
- - Ochotona princeps, or the American pika lives in 10 states in the Western United States and with two Canadian provinces.
- Map of North American pika species.
- Pikas are best pictured as about the size and shape of a medium-sized baked potato (though furrier and slightly less lumpy!)
- As adults, pikas weigh about as much as half a typical baking potato, but at birth they only weigh as much as 8 green peas:
- - Adult weight: 0.25 - 0.4 lb (4.3-6.2 oz; 121-176 g)
- - Adult length: 6 ½ - 8 ½ inches (162-216 mm)
- - Weight at birth: 0.02 lb (0.35 oz; 10 g)
- Mickey mouse-like ears
- NO tail!
- Fur on the bottom of their feet and between their toes
- Long whiskers
- Gray-brown fur; young pikas are grayer than adults
- Males and females are nearly identical