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Q: Woodchuck Performance Level ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: Woodchuck Performance Level
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: aaroninaustin-ga
List Price: $9.50
Posted: 08 May 2002 15:16 PDT
Expires: 15 May 2002 15:16 PDT
Question ID: 13839
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Per hour, day, month and year based on a lifetime average of a median
woodchuck in good health.
Subject: Re: Woodchuck Performance Level
Answered By: missy-ga on 08 May 2002 15:43 PDT
Hi there!

According to, quite a lot of wood!  (Assuming the furry
little critter chucked at all.  I have it on good authority that
they're stubborn and don't take direction very well.)

Per hour (median amount):  158 butt cords.
Per day:  684 butt cords.

[ ]

Extrapolating from those figures:

Per month:  20748 butt cords.
Per year (assuming 364 days - Woodchucks take Groundhog Day off): 
248976 butt cords.

Of course, the Mad Scientist's Network has different figures, claiming
that the average woodchuck can chuck about 700 pounds of wood in the
same amount of time it takes him to build his burrow.  They don't say
how long that takes, alas, but the figures are interesting:

"How much wood [...]"
[ ]

...and then there's The Straight Dope, who says:

"Are you kidding? Everybody knows a woodchuck would chuck as much wood
as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. Next
you'll be wanting to know why she sells seashells by the seashore."
[ ]

The jury still seems to out on this one, aaron!

Best regards,


Request for Answer Clarification by aaroninaustin-ga on 08 May 2002 19:15 PDT
So far all figures have been based on guesstimates. Is there any
scientific evidence or testing that would back up some of these
claims? I have a large amount of Woodchucks and a large amount of
wood, I would love to get it chucked. Of course, I guess it is
possible that they cannot chuck wood and that would negate this
question in general. As of yet I don't seem to be able to get a good
figure on this problem, perhaps I should just dispatch the chuckers
and burn down the wood.

Clarification of Answer by missy-ga on 08 May 2002 19:39 PDT
About the closest we're going to get to scientific evidence would be
the Mad Scientist's Network - the author is a Zoologist.  If a
Zoologist doesn't know, who would?

I think, however, that the tongue twister answers its own question
quite nicely - "[...] a woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a
woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck COULD chuck wood." (Emphasis

Woodchucks can't chuck wood.

Forget the chucking.

Do this with the wood:

[ ]

...and this with the woodchucks:

[ ]

Problem solved.
Subject: Re: Woodchuck Performance Level
From: googlebrain-ga on 08 May 2002 15:21 PDT
Well, here's a good start.

Subject: Re: Woodchuck Performance Level
From: googlebrain-ga on 08 May 2002 15:23 PDT
Aha! A Much better answer.

He seems to have it narrowed down pretty well.

Subject: Re: Woodchuck Performance Level
From: funzone-ga on 08 May 2002 16:07 PDT
In response to missy-ga's comment about "you'll be wanting to know why
she sells seashells by the seashore", I sell C shells by the seashore
because I live in a coastal town and operate a store which sells
computer products among other things.  In other words I do it for the
money. :) - Valerie
Subject: Re: Woodchuck Performance Level
From: qinopio-ga on 09 May 2002 23:36 PDT
The good fellows over at the Annals of Improbable Research did a study
on this very topic. I don't have the article with me, but ( ) reports that they concluded that
a woodchuck can chuck 361.9237001 cubic centimeters of wood per day.

The article's original citation, from the AIR website ( ) :
"The Ability of Woodchucks to Chuck Cellulose Fibers," by P.A.
and T.B. Shea.
This study answers two questions:  Can a woodchuck in fact chuck wood,
and if so, can the chucked material be quantified?
	--see: AIR, vol. 1, no. 4, July/August 1995, pp. 4-9.

The article is also available in the compilation "The Best of Annals
of Improbable Research" which can be found at:

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