Jerboa Facts

Jerboa Facts
Jerboa is a small mammal that belongs to the group of jumping rodents. There are over 30 species of jerboa that differ in size, color and type of habitat. Jerboa inhabits cold and hot deserts of Asia (Mongolia and China) and North Africa. Jerboas are mostly threatened by habitat loss due to increased human activity. In some parts of the world, people kill jerboas to prevent destruction of the crops. Also, jerboas are prone to parasitic diseases. Certain species of jerboa are vulnerable or endangered because of these factors.
Interesting Jerboa Facts:
Size of jerboa depends on the species. They can reach between 2 and 6 inches in length and from one to couple of ounces in weight. Tail is longer than the body (up to 9 inches).
Color of the fur matches the color of the environment (it provides camouflage). Fur is usually beige, yellow or brown in color. Jerboa's tail ends with white tufts.
Jerboa has mouse-like head with large eyes and whiskers. Their ears are either small or extremely large (depending on the habitat).
Jerboa has short front feet and four times longer hind feet which are designed for hopping. Jerboa usually leaps distance of 5 inches, but when it needs to escape from predators, jerboa can jump distance of 9.8 feet! It can achieve the speed of 15 miles per hour and move in a zigzag manner to confuse the predators.
Jerboa has flap of skin in the nose and hair in the ears to prevent entering of sand. Also, its pads are furry to facilitate movement across the sand.
Jerboa lives in underground burrows. During the rainy season, it lives in the burrows located on the side of the mountains to avoid flooding.
Jerboa is active during the night (nocturnal animal) to escape high temperatures (above 50 degrees of Celsius) during the day.
Jerboa has excellent sense of smell and hearing which are used for avoiding the predators and finding the food.
Jerboa eats plants or combines diet based on plants and insects (depending on the species). It extracts moisture from the underground roots and rhizomes.
Main predators of jerboa are foxes, cats, snakes and owls.
Jerboa is a solitary creature. It rarely gathers in larger groups (except during the mating season).
Mongolian jerboa hibernates during the winter period, when temperature drops 20 degrees below zero. Jerboa uses soil to plug the entrance of the burrow and prevent overcooling and overheating.
Mating season takes place during the summer. Jerboa breeds two times per mating season.
Pregnancy in females lasts 25 to 35 days and ends with 2 to 6 babies. Only mothers take care of the babies. Young jerboa cannot jump until it reaches the age of 11 weeks.
Jerboa can survive from 2 to 6 years in the wild, depending on the species.

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