long-eared jerboa facts

long-eared jerboa facts

long-eared jerboa facts

long-eared jerboa facts
long-eared jerboa facts

The Long-Eared Jerboa is a species of Jerboa. As you can tell by its looks, it’s a type of rodent (so it’s related to mice).


As small as the Long-Eared Jerboa is, it’s actually a large species of Jerboa. Other species of this animal is even smaller than the one you are looking at right now.


If you think the Jerboa is cute – well, you’re right! In fact, a lot of people also find it cute and are keeping this type of animal as a pet.


If you think you also want a pet Long- Eared Jerboa, then keep on reading. It would be good to get to know it first before bringing it home with you.


Getting to Know the Long-Eared Jerboa

As an animal that belongs to the rodent family, the Long-Eared Jerboa somewhat looks like a mouse. Or to be more specific, it somewhat looks like a hamster, which also belongs to the family of rodents.


Long-Eared Jerboas, in particular, are small. They only measure about 3 to 3.5 inches (from head to body) and weigh around 24 to 38 grams.


They have long tails – which can measure about 5.9 to 6.4 inches, so their tails are actually longer than their bodies.


Note that the males and females look alike – so much alike, in fact, that you won’t be able to distinguish the males from the females. However, keep in mind that the males are generally bigger than the females. It’s hard to use their size as basis for their gender, however, as they will only reach their maximum height and weight upon maturity. Unless you’re an expert, you might find it hard to differentiate the young ones from the old ones.


The Long-Eared Jerboa’s identifying mark are their ears. They’re definitely long, that’s why having long ears is even included in its name. Its ears are so large, in fact, that these are even larger than its head. Can you imagine your ears being larger than your head? People would look really strange if that were so!


Another physical characteristic that you might want to take note of is its long legs. These are made for jumping – and the Long-Eared Jerboa can jump up to about two inches high – which is almost its height. Again, can you even imagine jumping as high as your height? That would be really hard for humans.


Note, too, that the soles of their feet (the bottom part) are hairy. Since the hairs are stiff and not smooth, these help produce friction on the ground. The Long-Eared Jerboa will therefore have stable footing when it’s walking on loose sand (otherwise, it would lose its balance and fall).


While generally friendly and harmless, know that the Long-Eared Jerboa has sharp teeth, so yes, it can bite.


Aside from its long ears, its color also distinguishes it from other species of Jerboas. Know that it has reddish brown hair on most parts of its body. As for its underside or belly part, this is colored white.


Their tails are the same color as their bodies. There’s a collection of hair at the tip of their tails and these “tufts of hair” have black and white colors.


The different species of Jerboas actually look a lot alike – so it can get really confusing to know them all. However, it’s really easy to pinpoint the Long-Eared Jerboa even if there are other types of jerboas around. It’s the only one with really long ears!


Where Can You Find Long-Eared Jerboas?

Most of the population of Long-Eared Jerboas can be found in Mongolia and China. They live in deserts and they are adapted to living in sandy areas.


How Do Long-Eared Jerboas Behave?

As nocturnal creatures, Long-Eared Jerboas are very active at night. This is the time when they come out of their hiding places and hunt for food to eat.


During the day, they just spend their time resting and sleeping in their tunnels. They live underground and they dig the ground to build their homes.


When they’re out in the desert (especially during the night), they engage in dust bathing. If you’ve heard of sun bathing (which is a common practice for some animals), this is different from dust bathing. Sun bathing involves exposing one’s self to the sun’s rays, so dust bathing involves exposing one’s self to dust.


Keep in mind that Long-Eared Jerboas live in the desert. As desert dwellers, they really are exposed to a lot of sand. But why do they do this? Why do they like bathing in dust?


Well, this is actually a form of communication among Long-Eared Jerboas (and probably some other animals as well). Bathing in the sand allows these jerboas to attach their scents to the particles of sands in the desert so other animals will know about their presence in a particular place. It can be considered scent marking, in a sense – and it’s like saying that Long-Eared Jerboas are present in a particular territory.


As for their senses, Long-Eared Jerboas actually have good senses of sight and smell. However, their most sensitive sense is their sense of hearing. You must have guessed it by now because of their big ears. You’re right; their sense of hearing is really good. In fact, aside from their ability to sense sounds, they are also sensitive to vibrations.


Having good senses is actually very helpful, especially to such animals. Because of this, they will be able to avoid predators when these predators are hunting them. Predators should be avoided at all costs because they only have one goal – to eat. If an animal doesn’t want to be eaten, it will avoid encounters with predators which are usually bigger and stronger than they are.

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Of course, having good senses also makes it easy for the Long-Eared Jerboa to find food. Since they also eat live food, these usually make sounds and vibrations. The Long-Eared Jerboa will therefore know if there are nearby food sources around.


Long-Eared Jerboas are carnivorous animals.


What Do Long-Eared Jerboas Eat?

While most of the other species of jerboas are herbivorous or plant eaters, Long-Eared Jerboas are carnivorous, or meat eaters. Because of their size, they can only eat small animals such as insects – so they are more specifically called insectivores.


Remember their keen sense of hearing? They use this to locate their prey (the insects that they hunt for food). When they find their location, they will immediately jump at them and catch them.


Aside from being good jumpers, they are also very fast – so insects will find it hard to escape them (especially if the insects are caught by surprise).


Fortunately, there are insects that live in the desert. As long as these places are left undisturbed, there will always be insects (and food) for Long-Eared Jerboas.


How Do Long-Eared Jerboas Breed and Reproduce?

Their breeding season usually happens after winter – since Long-Eared Jerboas hibernate (they sleep through winter) they will wake up right in time for breeding.


Since a female Long-Eared Jerboa’s pregnancy only lasts for about 25 to 35 days (just about a month), they usually give birth twice during the summer. This really is the perfect time to breed because the weather is more suitable to raising young jerboas (remember, they are used to the dry atmosphere of the desert).


Only the female (the mother) is left to take care of her babies. The male (or father) has no participation in the rearing, feeding, and learning stages of a young Long-Eared Jerboa. So it becomes the sole responsibility of the mother to feed it and protect it from harm. Since a mother Long- Eared Jerboa will usually give birth to two to six babies, the female will be really busy taking care of all of them until they mature.


Long-Eared Jerboas can live for about two to three years. During this period of time, they will breed about two times per year and give birth to a number of baby Long-Eared Jerboas.


Population Status of Long-Eared Jerboas

Sadly, Long-Eared Jerboas are now considered to be an endangered species. As such, their population is no longer considered to be stable and their numbers are considered to be low.


One of the reasons why animals are monitored and given such a status is to alert people of the possibility of extinction of a particular species of animal. As intelligent creatures of this planet, people are tasked to take care of them and keep the environment healthy as well.


Having a lot of animals is not only cute – it’s actually needed to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem. We don’t want these animals to be disappearing and dying because an imbalance in the number of animals can be harmful for the planet. Just think about it – if there are more insects than insect-eating animals, we’d be covered with insects all over the world. But if there’s a natural balance in the number of animals that exist in our planet, then we won’t have such problems.


Since Long-Eared Jerboas are an endangered species, more attention is now being given to them. A number of them are already kept in protected areas. These protected areas, however, also need to be maintained and cared for.


By raising awareness as to what’s happening to Long-Eared Jerboas, more people will contribute their efforts in helping save this beautiful animal from extinction.


The Long-Eared Jerboa’s Role in the Ecosystem

As one of the insect-eating animals in our planet, Long-Eared Jerboas are among those that are responsible for keeping the population of insects down to a healthy level. While there are cute insects that we want to have around us (like butterflies), there are also those that we hate (such as mosquitoes). While Long-Eared Jerboas don’t really pick certain types of insects to eat as food, they still help in the overall maintenance of insect population where they live. That’s good enough for the planet.


Some people keep Long-Eared Jerboas as pets.


Human disturbance is one of the biggest problems of Long-Eared Jerboas. As animals that live in the wild, they really are not used to the presence of people. So when people hunt for them and try to capture them, they become nervous.


Constant exposure to nervousness is not good for animals (and people as well) – because this can cause a lot of stress. Constant exposure to stress has been found to be dangerous because this can make an animal (or a person) sick.


In the case of Long-Eared Jerboas, they are sometimes hunted and captured so that they can be sold as pets. This is really sad because removing them from their natural environment can really stress them out.


Just imagine the life of a Long-Eared Jerboa living in a wide desert. Would it be happy if it’s suddenly caged? No, it will be sad and it might even get sick.


Long-Eared Jerboas and Humans

While Long-Eared Jerboas are undeniably cute and can be kept as pets, it’s not always practical to have one. First of all, buying such animals from pet stores will only encourage people to continue to capture these animals from their original homes in the wild.


In the case of Long-Eared Jerboas, it is also not that safe to keep them at home. They have been known to earn the Helicobacter bacteria (in their poop) and this can make people sick.


Really, exposure to these bacteria can cause different types of diseases from a simple stomach infection to stomach cancer. If you really want to play it safe, it would be best to pass on this particular animal as a pet.

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