Monday, September 19, 2011

The Tiny Pygmy Jerboa

Last week we had a blog featuring the pygmy marmoset, recognized as the world’s smallest monkey. As small as those marmosets are, they positively dwarf the Baluchistan pygmy jerboa, one of the tiniest mammals in the world.
With a body length of just over four centimeters and weighing just over three grams, the pygmy jerboa is tied with the bumblebee bat as the smallest mammal in the world.

The Baluchistan pygmy jerboa is only found in the deserts of Pakistan, though it is suspected that it may live in Afghanistan as well.

Illustration of larger Egyptian jerboas.
Very little is known about this rare rodent in the wild other than it is nocturnal, herbivorous and uses its long legs to hop across the desert. It is likely that the jerboa developed this means of movement over time as an efficient way to cover lots of ground in an open habitat (free of trees and other obstructions) while avoiding snakes and lizards, its primary predators.

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