Desert Jerboas

Jaculus jaculus
Photograph by Liu Jian, Xinhua Press/Corbis

Desert Jerboas, Jaculus jaculus, are usually found in the deserts in Northeast Nigeria. The head and body are roughly similar in appearances to those of a mouse and range from 3 – 15cm in length. The tail is longer than body, ranging from 6 – 23cm. Hind legs tend to be around four times as long as the fore limbs hence they get around by jumping. They are reddish brown in color, with bulging black eyes and long hairless tails. Jerboas are nocturnal, constantly in search of seeds and plants and they spend the day in burrows. Their method of survival includes digging below the sand of the desert to reach soils that stay between 10 and 20 degrees cooler than the desert floor. Gestation is 23 days and 1-6 young are born in a nest burrow. they live for around 4 years in the wild.