Physical Description

Morphology

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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Reproduction

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 253
Specimens with Sequences: 228
Specimens with Barcodes: 226
Species: 20
Species With Barcodes: 19
Public Records: 107
Public Species: 9
Public BINs: 23
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Jerboa

The jerboa (from Arabic: جربوعjarbūʻ ) forms the bulk of the membership of the family Dipodidae. Jerboas are hopping desert rodents found throughout Northern Africa and Asia east to northern China and Manchuria.[1] They tend to be found in hot deserts.[1]

When chased, jerboas can run at up to 24 kilometres per hour.[1] Some species are prey for Little Owls (Athene noctua) in central Asia. Most species of jerboa have excellent hearing which allows them to avoid becoming the prey of these nocturnal predators. The typical lifespan of a jerboa is around 6 years.[2]

Anatomy and body features[edit]

Jerboas look somewhat like kangaroos due to having many similarities such as long hind legs, very short forelegs, and long tails. Jerboas move around their environment the same way a kangaroo does, which is by hopping. Like other bipedal animals, their foramen magnum, the hole at the base of the skull, is forward-shifted which enhances two legged locomotion.[3][4] The tail of a jerboa can be longer than its head and body and it is common to see a white cluster of hair at the end of the tail. The tail of a jerboa is used to balance the creature when it is hopping and "as a prop when the jerboa is sitting upright". The fur of a jerboa is fine and is usually the color of sand, this color in most cases matches the environment the jerboa lives in (an example of cryptic coloration).[1][2] Some species of the jerboa family have long ears like a rabbit and others have ears that are short like those of a mouse.

Behavior[edit]

Jerboas are nocturnal.[5] During the heat of the day they shelter in burrows. At night they leave the burrows due to the cooler temperature of their environment. The entrances to their burrow are found near plant life especially along field borders, but during the rainy season their tunnels are in mounds or hills. Building tunnels in these places reduces the risk of flooding. In the summer, jerboas that are occupying a hole plug the entrance to keep out hot air and, as some researchers speculate, predators.[1] In most cases burrows have an emergency exit that ends just below the surface or opens at the surface, but is not strongly obstructed. This allows the jerboa to quickly escape predators. Related jerboas often create four different types of burrows. A temporary, summer day burrow is used for cover while hunting during the daylight. They will have a second, temporary burrow used for hunting at night. They will also have two permanent burrows one for summer and one for winter. The permanent summer burrow is actively used throughout the summer and the young are raised there. Jerboas hibernate during the winter and use the permanent winter burrow for this. Temporary burrows are shorter in length than permanent burrows.[2] Jerboas are known to be solitary creatures. Once they reach adulthood, jerboas usually have their own burrow and search for food on their own, not in groups. However, occasional "loose colonies" may be formed, whereby some species of jerboa dig communal burrows which offer extra warmth when it is cold outside.[1]

Diet[edit]

Most jerboas are known to eat plants. Some species will eat beetles and other insects they come across, but they can not eat hard seeds. Unlike gerbils, jerboas are not known to store food.[1]

Communication and perception[edit]

Many species within the family Dipodidae participate in dust bathing. Dust bathing is often a way to use chemical communication. Their keen hearing suggests they may use sounds or vibrations to communicate.[2]

Reproduction[edit]

Mating systems of closely related species in the family Dipodidae suggest that they may be polygynous. For some closely related jerboa species mating usually happens a short time after awaking from winter hibernation. A female will breed twice during the summer season and raise between two to six young. Gestation time is between 25 and 35 days. Little is known about parental investment in long-eared jerboas. Like most mammals, females nurse and care for their young at least until they are weaned.[2]

Classification[edit]

Skeleton of a Jerboa

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Maurice Burton; Robert Burton (1970). The international wildlife encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 1323–. ISBN 978-0-7614-7266-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Swanson, N.; Yahnke, C. (2007). "Euchoreutes naso". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Anthropologists confirm link between cranial anatomy and two-legged walking". Phys.org (Omicron Technology Ltd.). Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Russo, Gabrielle A.; Kirk, E. Christopher (19 September 2013). "Foramen magnum position in bipedal mammals". Journal of Human Evolution. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2013.07.007. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Britannica Educational Publishing (1 January 2011). Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-1-61530-414-1. Retrieved 4 January 2012. 
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Dipodidae

The Dipodidae, or dipodids, are a family of rodents found across the northern hemisphere. This family includes over 50 species among the 16 genera. They include the jerboas, jumping mice, and birch mice. Different species are found in grassland, deserts, and forests. They are all capable of saltation (jumping while in a bipedal stance), a feature that is most highly evolved in the desert-dwelling jerboas.

Characteristics[edit]

Dipodids are small to medium sized rodents, ranging from 4 to 26 cm (1.6 to 10.2 in) in body length, excluding the tail. They are all adapted for jumping, although to varying degrees. The jerboas have very long hind legs which, in most species, include cannon bones. They move either by jumping, or by walking on their hind legs. The jumping mice have long feet, but lack the extreme adaptations of the jerboas, so that they move by crawling or making short hops, rather than long leaps. Both jerboas and jumping mice have long tails to aid their balance. Birch mice have shorter tails and feet, but they, too, move by jumping.[1]

Most dipodids are omnivorous, with a diet consisting of seeds and insects. Some species of jerboa, however, such as Allactaga sibirica, are almost entirely insectivorous. Like other rodents, they have gnawing incisors separated from the grinding cheek teeth by a gap, or diastema. The dental formula for dipodids is:

Dentition
1.0.0-1.3
1.0.0-1.3

Jerboas and birch mice make their nests in burrows, which, in the case of jerboas, may be complex, with side-chambers for storage of food. In contrast, while jumping mice sometimes co-opt the burrows of other species, they do not dig their own, and generally nest in thick vegetation. Most species hibernate for at least half the year, surviving on fat that they build up in the weeks prior to going to sleep.[1]

Dipodids give birth to litters of between two and seven young after a gestation period of between 17 and 42 days. They breed once or twice a year, depending on the species.

Classification[edit]

FAMILY DIPODIDAE

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whitaker, John (1984). Macdonald, D., ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 682–683. ISBN 0-87196-871-1. 
  • Holden, M. E. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Family Dipodidae. pp. 871–893 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Janson, S. & Myers, P. "Animal Diversity Web: Dipodidae". Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
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