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Mice Rats and Relatives: Muridae

Australian Jumping Mouse (notomys Alexis): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Australian jumping mice have light sandy brown to gray upperparts; white to light gray bellies; long tails with fine fur; large ears; narrow, large hind feet; and sebaceous (secretion) glands that are used for territorial marking. Adults have a body length of 3.9 to 5.9 inches (10 to 15 centimeters); tail length of 3.5 to 8.2 inches (9 to 21 centimeters); and weight of 0.7 to 1.7 ounces (20 to 50 grams).

Geographic range: They are found throughout central Australia.

Habitat: They inhabit arid desert environments; living around dunes and grasslands so that they can easily dig large, complicated burrows.

The Australian jumping mouse's large hind feet allow it to jump higher than 3.2 feet (1 meter). (© Tom McHugh/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Their diet consists of berries and other vegetation. They can live without water as long as they receive enough moisture from their food.

Behavior and reproduction: Australian jumping mice are nocturnal, social creatures. As a group, they groom, huddle, walk over and crawl under each other, and sleep together. Their large hind feet allow them to jump higher than 3.2 feet (1 meter). When angry with another animal, they rush and leap at it, and punch it with their forelegs. They generally walk on all four limbs, but when necessary will leap with their hind legs. The gestation period is about one month. Females produce a litter with an average of three pups that are born naked and blind, but open their eyes within three weeks. They are weaned after five weeks and ready to reproduce within three months.

Australian jumping mice and people: People keep these animals as pets.

Conservation status: The Australian jumping mouse is not threatened. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsMice Rats and Relatives: Muridae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Muskrat (ondatra Zibethicus): Species Accounts, Norway Lemming (lemmus Lemmus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MICE RATS RELATIVES AND PEOPLE, CON