With its long legs, big ears, and fluffy tail, the long-eared jerboa looks like a cross between a mouse, a kangaroo, and a teddy bear. You may have already come across the long-eared jerboa and fallen in love with its adorable appearance without knowing who it was. But despite its cute appearance, the long-eared jerboa is well adapted to survive in the harsh desert environment. Keep scrolling to learn more about this small, adorable mammal native to the deserts of northern China and Mongolia.
Did someone do a scientific experiment on a kangaroo?
Among long-eared jerboas’ most notable characteristics is their long, powerful hind legs, which allow them to jump up to three feet in the air. This is an essential adaptation for escaping predators, such as foxes, eagles, and snakes and foraging for food. The long-eared jerboa feeds on seeds, insects, and small rodents and can travel long distances for food and water.
How can this small animal hold those big ears?
Do you know that a 2007 Zoological Society of London mission to the Gobi captured the first footage of a long-eared jerboa in the wild?
Another unique feature of the long-eared jerboa is its large, expressive ears. These ears serve a dual purpose: they help the jerboa regulate its body temperature by dissipating heat, and they also help it locate its prey by amplifying sounds. The long-eared jerboa has excellent hearing and can detect even the slightest sounds in the desert, including the rustling of leaves and the scurrying of insects.
Its tail is twice in size as its body.
Another aspect of the long-eared jerboa that melts your heart is its tiny size and fluffy tail. The animal’s tail is twice as long as its body, which ranges from 2.8 to 3.5 inches. This little mammal, which can grow to be just six inches long, is covered in soft, warm fur. The fur coat helps it survive in the harsh desert. The fluffy tail is a counterbalance when the jerboa jumps and helps keep the jerboa warm at night.
The long-eared jerboa will be friends with you in a minute.
In addition to its physical appearance, the long-eared jerboa also has a charming personality. This nocturnal mammal is popular everywhere for its curious and playful nature, and you can often see it jumping and hopping through the desert in search of food and water. Watch how friendly and innocent this kangaroo-like rodent from here.
Even though they are typically about the size of your fist, jerboas exhibit very unpredictable locomotion, adopting a zigzag trajectory, and may jump many feet both vertically and horizontally, according to Talia Yuki Moore, a Harvard graduate student researching locomotion in three jerboa species.
Here is how people on social media expressed their thoughts on this unique creature.