Deer mice have small bodies. They weigh between 10 and 24 grams and they are typically 119 to 222 mm long, no longer than mus musculus. Tail length varies in different populations and ranges from 45 mm to 105 mm. Deer mice that live in woodlands are typically larger and have larger tails and feet than deer mice that live in prairies. Deer mice have round and slender bodies. The head has a pointed nose with large, black, beady eyes. The ears are large and have little fur covering them. The whiskers are long and prominent. Deer mice have shorter forelimbs than hind limbs.
Deer mice are grayish to reddish brown with white underparts. The fur is short, soft, and dense. The finely-haired tail is dark on top and light on the bottom, with a sharp division between the two colors. This differs from Peromyscus leucopus, where the separation of the two colors on the tail is less distinct. There are other characteristics that help distinguish deer mice from the similar white-footed mice. Deer mice generally have hind feet that are 22 mm or less, while white-footed mice usually have hind feet 22 mm or more. Also, deer mice are more richly colored with a brownish or tawny coat, whereas white-footed mice tend to be more pinkish-buff or grayish, with scattered dark hairs. These characteristics vary depending on location, however, and in some areas the two species are extremely hard to tell apart based on outward appearance.
Range mass: 10 to 24 g.
Range length: 119 to 222 mm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike
Average basal metabolic rate: 0.219 W.
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