When it comes to Earth's largest rodents, the Gambian pouched rat, which can grow up to 3 feet long, is probably the cutest this gallery has to offer. After all, it can be trained to walk around in a harness. It can even learn to sniff out land mines or signs of tuberculosis.
But, when it comes to sheer size, this isn't as large as large rodents get on this planet. Not even close...
Behold, the largest rodent in the world: the capybara, a South American denizen that can grow to a size of nearly 4.5 feet long. (As far as weight, they can tip the scales at more than 145 pounds.)
Here, a capybara walks with a squirrel monkey on its head at Tobu Zoo in Saitama, Japan. Tobu Zoo is the only zoo in Japan that raises capybaras and squirrel monkeys in the same cage, which is called "capybara taxi" with good reason.
These African rats might look like porcupines (more on those later) but they aren't. They're rats. The wild rats you might see in big-city sewers might grow to an average of 20 inches long (including tail), but maned rats...
When it comes to North American ground squirrels, their largest cousin is...this, the hoary marmot, also known as the whistle pig. They've been known to grow up to 30 pounds (if they're really huge), and are similar in size to the alpine marmot, which sometimes also claims the title of largest ground squirrel.
Here's one on Mount Edith Cavell, in Jasper National Park, Canada.
One North American beaver was catalogued at weighing 110 pounds. The breed has been a source of meat to several populations over the centuries...but nowadays, the BeaverTails you get in Canada are more like donuts.