Arvicolinae is a subfamily of rodents that includes voles, lemmings, and muskrats. These small mammals are characterized by their short legs, rounded bodies, and short tails. They are primarily found in the northern hemisphere, with the majority of species living in North America and Eurasia.
Arvicolines are known for their high reproductive rate and ability to survive in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, tundra, and wetlands. They have a unique set of teeth called hypsodont teeth, which continue to grow throughout their lives. This adaptation allows them to wear down their teeth as they gnaw on tough plant material.
Many arvicoline species are important prey animals for larger predators, such as hawks, owls, and foxes. Some species, like the muskrat, are also hunted by humans for their fur or meat. In recent years, some arvicoline populations have experienced dramatic fluctuations in size due to changes in their habitats and food supplies, leading to concerns about their conservation status.