The Jerboa are a group of hopping rodents found throughout Asia and Africa, and include the rather marvellous Pygmy Jerboa, the World’s smallest rodent.



There is a train of thought that some animals have evolved to be cute, so we don’t kill and eat them, especially in their young stages, when they are all dew-eyed and big-pawed and just bally lovely and you just want to snuggle up to them. Then there are other learned types who say that it is just a coincidence that these animals look like our young, and that we are genetically programmed to love our big-eyed pot-bellied offspring as they vomit, poo, scream and generally just act all inconvenient through the first 10 years of their existence.

Either way the Pygmy Jerboa comes out tops on the patented Proceedings of the Ever so Strange Cuteometer;

The Jerboa, like a number of animals have taken to hopping as their favoured method of locomotion. At first glance this appears to be silly until you discover it is actually one of the most efficient methods of getting from around. Large elastic tendons allow the energy from one hop to be bounced into the other like jumping on springs. The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa for example is able to bounce a metre at a time, rather effective for dodging other desert folk who would like to gobble it up. However it is rather inelegant and it’s not a coincidence that hopping animals make dreadful waiters.


Jerboa are finely tuned to living in the harsh desert. Those enormous feet are covered in hairs which act like a pair of show shoes to stop them from sinking in the desert sand. Many aestivate, which is a lot like hibernating… only this time to avoid the harsh Summer sun. Some Jerboa never ever drink, they get their water from any food they eat… which sounds like a dreadful existence if you ask me… still they’d probably just spill it.


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Another goody! Keep these fun articles rolling. =)

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