50 Facts About Desert Jerboas

Desert jerboa

Jerboas are mammals that belong to the order of rodents, like mice or hares. They live in almost all latitudes, both in the steppes and in the arctic latitudes, and are often found in the desert.Jerboas are the only rodents that move only with their hind limbs. While running and walking, they are simultaneously repelled by their hind legs, and the front ones are kept tightly pressed to the chest. Amazing animals at the same time resemble miniature kangaroos, hamsters and mice. Most species are found only in the wild. But some members of the family are well tamed and live in houses as pets.

Three-toed jerboa

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Superfamily: Dipodoidea
Family: Dipodidae
Habitat: Deserts and steppes in America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and southern Siberia.
Weight: 9 to 250 g (0.5 to 9 oz)
Size: 4 – 25 cm (1.5 – 10 inches)
Speed: 24 km / h (15 mph)
Life span: 3-5 years
Food: seeds, insects, fruits, vegetables
Enemies: all predatory species of birds, animals and reptiles.

long-eared jerboa

50 interesting facts about jerboas

1. Jerboas are small rodents similar to kangaroos.

2. Jerboas live in deserts, forest-steppe and steppe zones and even in mountainous areas.

3. This species of animals already existed 33-23 million years ago, which is confirmed by excavations. So, historically, these animals are far from so young.

4. There are 50 species of jerboas all over the world.

5. Of the whole variety of species of these rodents, only three can be kept at home. This is a Great, Northern three-toed and Small five-toed jerboa.

6. Jerboas are small in size. They are no more than 26 centimeters (10 inches) tall and weigh about 300 grams (10 ounces).

7. A characteristic feature of these animals is a very long tail with a tassel at the end.

8. The forelegs of the jerboas are short, and the hind legs are long and perfectly adapted to fast and strong jumps.

9. They have a slightly flattened face, a large head. The muzzle of this rodent is very neat, has a conical shape and small black beady eyes.

10. The tail of the jerboa is longer than the body, often with a flat black and white tassel at the end, which serves as a rudder when running, as well as a visual signal of danger.

11. Their body is covered with wool. As for the color, it can have different shades from pale sand to brownish-gray or brownish-buffy. In this case, the breast and abdomen of the animal are painted white.

12. The color of the fur of these animals directly depends on their habitat. The closer to the north, the darker the back. But the representatives of the southern fauna have longer ears.

13. The jerboa is rightfully considered the longest-eared animal in the world. In the long-eared jerboa, the ears are two-thirds of the size of the whole body.

14. Thanks to its large ears, the jerboa hears very well and perceives even subtle sounds.

15. Among these rodents there are also record holders for miniature size: all records are broken by a dwarf jerboa weighing 12-15 grams (0.5 ounces) and a body length of 4-5 centimeters (1.5 inches).

16. Animals of this subspecies can move, relying on only their hind legs, just like a man.

17. In the Thick-tailed pygmy jerboa, a reserve of fat is deposited at the base of the tail for prolonged hibernation. It’s just that it itself is so small that there is no more room for stocks.

18. These animals are born jumpers. In nature, the height of the jump reaches 1.5 meters (5 feet), and the length can be 20 times the size of the body. Such opportunities are provided by the presence of strong and long legs. And the forelimbs are small in size and are intended mainly for holding food.

19. The record holder among these rodents is the Great jerboa – the largest species of jerboa. He jumps up to 3 meters (10 футов) in height.

20. Most of these animals can walk on two hind limbs.

21. The jerboa is a wonderful digger; digs a dwelling with its paws, and sometimes with its teeth.

22. In the wild, jerboas dig holes for themselves up to 6 meters (20 feet) long as a dwelling place.

23. The jerboas have temporary burrows – necessary for rescue from predators; permanent – for the main residence; summer – shallow and simple; winter – insulated, differ in depth, many corridors, entrances and exits.

24. Usually these are nocturnal and crepuscular animals that spend the daytime in burrows. In one night, these animals can travel up to 4 kilometers (2.5 miles).

25. Moving in jumps, they can reach speeds of up to 24 km / h (15 mph).

26. If they sense danger, they instantly run into their burrow, making sounds that resemble a cat’s squeak.

27. Large and experienced individuals often try to defend themselves, using the advantage in the form of strong and long hind limbs. To defend against enemies, they use another secret weapon – the tail.

28. When this animal flees from predators, the trajectory of its movement resembles a zigzag. At the decisive moment, the jerboa turns its body to the left and its tail to the right. The deceived pursuer rushes after the tail, leaving the animal the opportunity to hide in the hole.

29. Many predators hunt jerboas – owls and other birds of prey, foxes, wolves, snakes.

30. The jerboas are very clean. During their waking hours at night, they can brush their fur up to 20-30 times.

31. All representatives of the species of these animals have vibrissae on their bodies. On the face of an animal, they resemble a thick mustache, they can be very long – up to the middle of the body and even to the base of the tail. It is these “whiskers” that help animals feel the surface on which they move, which allows them to develop high speeds when moving.

32. In search of food, a jerboa can walk up to 5 kilometers (3 miles) per day.

33. During the day, the jerboa eats up to a third of its weight of various feeds.

34. The jerboa menu is varied. Jerboas are omnivores, preferring a vegetarian table, namely roots, plant shoots and seeds. In their absence, they feed on
insects.

35. They don’t need fresh water. The need for fluid is replenished with plant sap.

36. These rodents prefer to live alone in a burrow. The only exception is the breeding season.

37. When autumn comes and the first cold weather, the animal hibernates for 4 months. After waking up in April – June, babies are born.

38. Pregnancy in females is only 25 – 35 days and they give birth to 3-6 cubs, less often – 7 – 8 babies.

39. Only females take care of children. The mother takes care of them for 1.5 months, after which she leaves the burrow.

40. Babies have to survive on their own. They are hunted by birds, reptiles and some representatives of mammals, which leads to the death of a large number of young animals.

41. Small jerboas cannot jump for the first 3 months of life. The surviving individuals fully mature at 2 years of age.

42. Jerboas are very distrustful, they come out of their hole only when there is a serious need.

43. Jerboas are able to independently regulate body temperature depending on the time of day.

44. Jerboas store fat before hibernating. They accumulate their reserves in the tail.

45. These animals are easy to tame. Increasingly, in the homes of domestic animal lovers, you can find such funny jerboas.

46. Due to the fact that this animal is very active, it will need a rather large cage for a comfortable stay.

47. Also, these rodents are nocturnal, which must be taken into account when keeping. Indeed, with their activity at night, they can cause some anxiety among the owners.

48. Since in the wild, as a dwelling, jerboas dig long burrows for themselves, therefore, in captivity, having got out of the aviary, they tend to hide behind
furniture or dig a shelter in the wall.

49. With proper care and maintenance, a jerboa in captivity can live, as in nature, up to 5 years.

50. When domesticating this wild animal, do not forget that it is not capable of getting used to a person until the end and will always strive to escape.

jerboa black eyes