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General Jerboa Facts
- Jerboas are found throughout Asia and Northern Africa in both hot and cold deserts including the Sahara Desert and Gobi Desert.
- Jerboas are classified in the Dipodinae family (jumping rodents) and are divided into three genera with over two dozen species.
- This small animal is well adapted for the harsh desert environments in which it lives. Some species are adapted for survival in cold deserts and others for hot deserts.
- The Jerboa has a keen sense of smell.
- This animal has excellent hearing.
- They are nocturnal; staying in their burrows during the day to avoid the heat and venturing out at night when the temperature drops.
- This animals diet basically consist of plants. Some species will also eat insects. It depends on food for water and may never actually drink water in its lifetime.
- Their average lifespan is two to three years.
Jerboa Characteristics Facts
- They are anywhere from two to six inches (5 to 15 centimeters) long (not including the tail) depending on the species.
- It has a very disproportionally long tail utilized for balance when standing. The tail can be longer than the combined length of its head and body.
- Depending on the species a Jerboa can weigh anywhere from just under one ounce (28 grams) to a few ounces.
- It has a mouse like head and body.
- They have long whiskers like that of a cat. Designed for feeling their surroundings in the dark.
- This animal has big round eyes like that of an owl.
- Some species have long ears like that of a Jack Rabbit where as others have shorter ears.
- This animal has big hind legs that are kangaroo-like. The back legs are approximately four times longer than the front legs and enable the animal to make amazingly high jumps.
- The Jerboa has a fur coat that ranges in color from a sandy yellowish-beige to dark. The color generally matches the color of the environment in which it lives. This helps conceal it from predators.
Jerboa Interesting Facts
- These animals are shy and elusive.
- There are several predators of the Jerboa; they include owls, house cats, foxes, jackals and foxes.
- Jerboas that live in the Sahara Desert and other hot deserts enter a state of inactivity in the summer in order to survive.
- Jerboas that live in the Gobi Desert and other deserts with cold winters hibernate in the winter.
- Several species of this animal, such as the five-toed pygmy jerboa, are listed as threatened species.
- These amazing creatures can hop up to three meters (9.8 feet) when being chased by a predator.
- These are solitary animals that typically live in their own burrow. Sometimes they will form small colonies made up of several individual burrows.