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Gundis: Ctenodactylidae

Behavior And Reproduction

Gundis are diurnal (mainly active during daytime). They can run quickly when necessary, but they are usually slow, and also shy. When they move, their bodies are very close to the ground; their bellies almost touch the ground. They have rough friction pads on their feet that help them climb rocks and surfaces that are almost vertical. They come out of their shelters during the first light of the day, and they are active for up to five hours after this point. When the hottest part of the day arrives, they rest. Then, for the two to four hours before dusk, they become active again. However, they may not come out of their shelters when it is cold, wet, or windy. It can become very dangerous for gundis when it rains, because the water causes their fur to stick together and expose their skin, which makes them very cold very quickly. In order to retain heat in the winter, they pile on top of one another in their shelters. Their lives basically consist of foraging (wandering in search of food), sunbathing, playing, chasing, and exploring.

Gundis live in colonies, or groups. These colonies have different densities that are related to the food supply and terrain of the region being inhabited. Shelters of the gundis serve the purpose of keeping the heat from the day in the shelter during cold nights as well as staying cool during the day when the weather is hot. Gundis also have communal dunghills.

When gundis encounter predators, animals that hunt them for food, they become immobile, in order to make the predators believe that they are dead. They may also go under rocks in order to escape from predators. When they are excited or alarmed, they thump their feet against the ground. Their predators include snakes, lizards, foxes, jackals, and cats.

When female gundis give birth, there are usually one to three young in a litter. Female gundis typically only have one litter per year. Young are born with all their fur as well as their eyes open and feed on chewed leaves.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsGundis: Ctenodactylidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Mzab Gundi (massoutiera Mzabi): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, GUNDIS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS