Description and features of 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, it is often found jerboa in the desert. This suggests an excellent adaptation mechanism of this animal, verified by evolution.
Jerboa can be small or medium, that is, its dimensions vary from four centimeters to twenty to twenty-five in adults. They never grow big.
They have a tail long enough for the size of their torso, which can vary, depending on the type and size of an individual, from seven to thirty-centimeters. Quite often, they have a flat brush at the tip of their tail, which performs the function of a tail rudder when running fast.
The head of the jerboa is usually large, against the background of which the neck of the animal is practically not noticeable. The shape of the muzzle is flattened, and the ears are quite large and rounded. This shape of the ears serves for heat transfer during intense and long running. Rare hairs grow on the ears.
On the big head of the animal are quite large eyes. The body is covered with thick and very soft fur, most often beige or light brown. A jerboa can have sixteen to eighteen teeth in its mouth.
The incisors of these rodents are needed for two purposes, firstly, for solid food, and, secondly, for loosening the soil, when creating minks in the ground. After grinding, they remove the soil with their paws.
Jerboa in the wild, winter hibernates, approximately at the end of September and until active snowmelt in March. Due to the fact that jerboas are wonderful runners, they have very strong hind limbs, and their length, compared with the front ones, depending on the species, is up to four times greater.
Only some of them move on all four legs, but only if they do not run. When running, their jump length reaches three meters. The metatarsal bones in the hind legs during the evolution fused from three to one, the foot became longer, and the lateral toes atrophied. The forelimbs are disproportionately short with sharp and long claws.
When maneuvering at high speed, their tail acts as a bow thruster, and it also helps to maintain balance when jumping. It also contains a supply of fat like camels or possums, which allows you to survive hibernation and difficult times.
The speed record holder is big jerboa he speeds up to fifty kilometers per hour. He is also the most dimensional of them. Its length, together with its tail, is up to half a meter, and its weight is up to three hundred grams.
When the habitat changes from west to east, the jerboa's body color changes, and from north to south, the size of the body decreases, and the ears, on the contrary, become larger.
Jerboa is a nocturnal beast, the size of the ears and large eyes indicate this. Big eyes capture more light, which helps to navigate in the dark, and ears, respectively, help to catch more sounds.
They leave their minks half an hour after sunset, try to find food all night, walking up to five kilometers, and about an hour before dawn they return to the shelter to sleep off all day.
Species and habitat
Long-eared jerboa, photo which are widespread in the network, rather small in size, up to twenty-five centimeters with a tail, the length of which is 16 cm. Their eyes are smaller than other species. Ears are long - reach the lower back.
The structure of their skeleton suggests that the species is quite ancient, since there are many primitive features. The habitat for this species are deserts with thickets of saxaul - Xinjiang and Alshani. The animals are very curious, often climb into the tents to the nomads.
Large jerboa is found in forest-steppe zones and in the north of the desert zones of Western Siberia, Kazakhstan and some territories of Eastern Europe, Altai and Ob. Large jerboas in the wild are carriers of many diseases, for example:
- fever Ku.
Large desert jerboas also populate, spend the night in holes, because they are good excavation. In the wild habitat, almost all of them are loners, communicate with their relatives only in the mating season.
Reproduction and longevity
After leaving hibernation in mid-March, or in early April, the large breeding grounds begin to reproduce in large jerboas. In a year, the female brings one or two litters, each from one to eight cubs.
Pregnancy is less than a month, about twenty-five days. Together with their mother they live no more than two months, after which they leave. After two years, they reach puberty.
Life expectancy in the wild is, on average, very short - rarely more than three years. This is due to the fact that they have many natural enemies; in captivity, the life span is significantly increased.
The diet of jerboas includes roots that they get when digging holes, fruits, vegetables, root vegetables, grains from cereals, but, in addition, there are also worms, larvae, and insects that can be caught. From plant food to animal jerboas go easily enough.
Jerboa at home
When kept in captivity for a jerboa, it is necessary to make a mink, where he can hide from everyone during the day. They are very clean jerboa homeif you nevertheless decided on it, a very neat animal, he carries out all his “affairs” in the farthest corner.
For them, the presence of pure water in the cage, as well as a sufficient amount of feed, is mandatory. As him home-made jerboas They like cereal grains, fruits, plant seeds, bread crumbs, all kinds of greens, vegetables, various types of insects, for example, grasshoppers, flies, maggots and others.
Jerboa pictureswho is kept in a cage is not uncommon, but it’s not worth it. Jerboa need to run a lot, therefore, if you are not ready to let it out for free on the night, then it is better not to start it at all.