Jaculus. It is very small with a darkish back and lighter colored underbelly. There is also a light-colored stripe across its hip. Jerboas are a lot like a tiny kangaroo in locomotion and posture. The hind feet are incredibly large, 50 to 75 mm, and used for jumping. Each hind foot has three toes. The tail is very long, 128 to 250 mm, with a clump of hairs at the tip which is used for balance. It has moderately large eyes and ears. Females are larger than males. ("BBC - Nature Wildfacts", 2002; "Walker's Mammals of the World", 1997)is the smallest species in the genus
Not much is known about the mating system ofbecause they are solitary and nocturnal. However, it appears as though a male will mate with any number of females he comes across, while a female will mate with only one male.
A male jerboa attracts a mate by standing on his hind legs in front of a female. When the female approaches, he faces her and slaps her at regular intervals with his short front limbs. Lesser Egyptian jerboas breed at least twice yearly, and every three months in captivity. Breeding occurs from June to July and from October to December. Females have an average of 3 young per litter. Young reach independence at 8 to 10 weeks, and become sexually mature at 8 to 12 months. ("BBC - Nature Wildfacts", 2002; Happold, 1967)
Jerboas leave their burrow after sundown and can travel long distances, about 10 km, away from it in search of food. They can cover a lot of ground quickly because of their huge feet and hopping stride. ("Walker's Mammals of the World", 1997)
Because (Happold, 1967)is solitary, not much is known about how individuals communicate with one another. Animals in captivity seem to recognize each other by smell. They close their eyes and come together until thier noses touch and keep contact for 1 to 5 seconds in this way.
Although lesser Egyptian jerboas lives in the desert, they do not drink, depending on the greens and insects that they eat to provide enough water and moisture. Their diet consists of roots, grass, seeds, grains, with some insects. (Happold, 1967; "Walker's Mammals of the World", 1997)
Vulpes pallida), Nile foxes (Vulpes vulpes), striped weasels (Ictonyx striatus), saw-scaled vipers (Echis carinatus), and moila snakes (Malpolon moilensis). Some humans eat jerboas as well. (Happold, 1967)is very fast when hopping and escape seems to be its defense against predators. Individuals often run down into their burrows to get away as well. They do not bite often when handled, so they do not have any real means of defense against predators when caught. The predators of this species are desert carnivores including pallid foxes (
Some humans eat jerboas for food. Jerboas are becoming popular pets because they are easily tameable and do not commonly bite. (Happold, 1967)
There are no known adverse affects ofon humans.
As of right now, this species is not on any conservation lists.
Matthew Wund (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Theresa Keeley (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.
an animal that mainly eats seeds
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
having more than one female as a mate at one time
specialized for leaping or bounding locomotion; jumps or hops.
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
2002. "BBC - Nature Wildfacts" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/wildfacts/factfiles/620.shtml.
2000. "UAE INTERACT" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://uaeinteract.com/nature/mammal/mam17.asp.
The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1997. "Walker's Mammals of the World" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/rodentia/rodentia.dipodidae.jaculus.html.
Brown ET AL., 1994. Coexistence of Negev Desert Rodents. Ecology, 75: 2290-2297.
Happold, D. 1967. Biology of jerboa, Jaculus jaculus butleri (Rodentia, Dipodidae), in the Sudan. Journal of Zoology, London, 151: 257-274.