• WordNet 3.6
    • n sewellel bulky nocturnal burrowing rodent of uplands of the Pacific coast of North America; the most primitive living rodent
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Sewellel (Zo√∂l) A peculiar gregarious burrowing rodent (Haplodon rufus), native of the coast region of the Northwestern United States. It somewhat resembles a muskrat or marmot, but has only a rudimentary tail. Its head is broad, its eyes are small and its fur is brownish above, gray beneath. It constitutes the family Haplodontid√¶. Called also boomer showt'l, and mountain beaver.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sewellel A rodent mammal of the family Haplodontidæ, Haplodon rufus, inhabiting Washington and Oregon and parts of California It is most nearly related to the beaver, but resembles the muskrat in size, shape, and general appearance, except that it has almost no tail. The length is about a foot. The color is uniform rich dark brown, paler and grayer below. It is not aquatic, lives in burrows, and feeds on roots, herbs, and seeds. A second species is sometimes distinguished as H. californicus. The name sewellel first appears in print in this form in the “Travels” of Lewis and Clarke, where the authors say “sewellel is a name given by the natives to a small animal found in the timbered country.” On this animal Rafinesque based his Anisonyx rufa (whence Haplodon rufus of Coues), and Richardson his Aplodontia leporina. See Haplodon. Also called boomer and mountainbeaver.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of American Indian origin


In literature:

His proper name is Sewellel.
"The Burgess Animal Book for Children" by Thornton W. Burgess