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Gerbil (Mongolian)

Meriones unguiculatus
Gerbil (Mongolian)

Range

They are found in Asia, North-Africa, India, Mongolia, Iran, Northern China, Russia and Turkey.

Habitat

They live in dry, desert-like regions, grasslands and steppes.

Body Traits

They are mouse-sized rodents that can be 8-9 inches long with half their length being their tail. Their yellowish color is meant to blend with the dry grasses and sand of their habitat. They have long back legs for leaping, to avoid predators and other gerbils.

Habits

They are great diggers and make long tunnels underground to escape the extreme temperatures of their environment, store food and nest. They rest during the hottest part of the day and the coldest part of the night.

Diet

They eat plants, seeds, fruits and an occasional insect.

Predators

They are eaten by birds of prey.

Reproduction

The female is pregnant for 24 days (gestation) and has 4-10 pups. Both parents care for the young, the male keeping them warm and as they get more active, bringing them back to the nest. In her short lifetime she may have 7 litters of babies.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They can live up to 5 years, but usually 3 at most in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - Least Concern.

Gerbil (Mongolian)

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Myomorpha
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Gerbillinae
Genus: Meriones
Species: Meriones unguiculatus
 

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