A Meadow Vole's Pasture Life

Kaelin Bemis Hour 4

Interactions with Organisms

Meadow Voles eat grass, clovers, sedges, seeds, flowers, leaves, roots of shrubs and small trees, bark, tubers, bulbs, and some insects that live in and around its habitat. They eat green vegetation in the summer, and grains and seeds in the fall. They are in competition with other rodents for vegetation, birds for insects as well as frogs from the pond. Meadow Voles are the prey of of many animals, such as, hawks, owls, foxes, cats, and crows. Meadow Voles help the ecosystem, because they are a big part of their predators diet, they eat lots of grass and other vegetation, and recycle the nutrients by their droppings. This allows the ground to be fertilized and the grass continues to grow for the vole and other animals. This is and example of symbiosis.They build burrows, use pathways, are good diggers and swimmers. Meadow voles can also be detrimental to the environment as well. When they dig and make their paths, they destroy they soil and grass in that area leaving small strips of the ground barren, but also aerate the ground with the burrows they build.

Physical Factors

Water: Meadow Voles are good swimmers, but are easy prey to the larger animals in the water.

Air: Meadow Voles require air to breathe through their lungs, and if there are heavy winds they could be hurt or killed if they aren't in their burrows in the ground.

Land: Meadow Voles build burrows, by digging into the ground, creating pathways to travel through the field.

Seasons: Meadow Voles usually only live for a year to a year and a half. In the summers their diet consists of green vegetation and in the fall their diet consists of grains and seeds.

Personal Energetics/Metabolism

Meadow Voles do not go into hibernation. They live in their burrows, and create pathways underground to get around in the winter and other times of the year as well, and to avoid being preyed on. Meadow voles also rely on the process of photosynthesis, because their food source has to go through this process in order to grow and obtain its full growth to be able to supply the vole with nutrition. In the winter when the plants are dormant, the vole's find other food sources such as bark and roots. Meadow voles can eat their weight in food everyday. They are very active and are continuously moving or digging. Respiration also affects the vole, because it must go through this process in order to breathe, and without it the vole would die of suffocation, without oxygen entering the body and carbon dioxide leaving the body.

Primary Nutritional Needs

Meadow vole's are mostly herbivores. They receive their carbohydrates from grains, and proteins through the grass that they eat. The voles are able to digest cellulose from plants which allows them absorb the sugars and provides them with the amount of protein they require. They are able to digest plant cells and use the nutrients it contains like proteins, and they can receive fats through seeds. Sometimes, they eat small insects, and occasionally feed off of carcasses.

Basic overview of health

Vole's are very active. Female voles can be very territorial of their young and their nests. When they are feeling threatened they make thumping noises with their back feet, and make noises with their mouths to warn off other voles and other animals. Meadow vole's also have the same immune system as other mammals. They have organs in their bodies that contain cells that are able to recognize pathogens and foreign substances that invade their bodies, and work to get rid of them and build up a resistance to those pathogens.

Reproductive strategy

Vole's breed frequently, their gestation lasts 20-23 days, and they can have around 12 litters a year, with the litter amount ranging from one to eleven young, but the normal litter about is 4-6. They breed with other voles, and with the ones in their general area. Female vole's are mature by one month old, and are sexually active continuously having pups because they have no breeding season.

Evolutionary Adaptions

  • The meadow vole has big fore claws to allow the vole to dig tunnels and create burrows
  • The voles fur color is brown so that they can blend in with the soil and their surrounding to avoid predation
  • Thicker longer hair on their bellies for protection
  • Frequent reproduction because gestation only lasts 20 days and can breed immediately after they give birth
  • Both genders of meadow voles are the same size and color, so that both easily blend in with their surroundings and aren't as easily preyed on because of larger size or brighter color

Works Cited

Works Cited

"Adaptions of the Meadow Vole." animals.mom.me. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <http://animals.mom.me/adaptations-meadow-vole-8227.html>.

"The Immune System." aber.ac.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <http://www.aber.ac.uk/~dcswww/ISYS/immune_system.html>.

"Meadow Vole." Biokids.umich.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <http://www.biokids.umich.edu/critters/Microtus_pennsylvanicus/>.

"Meadow Vole." crittercontrol.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <http://www.crittercontrol.com/services/voles/meadow-vole.html>.

"Meadow Vole." fcps.edu. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/meadow_vole.htm>.

"Meadow Vole." Wikipedia.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meadow_vole>.