A four-toed jerboa is an Old World jumping mammal of the Animalia kingdom and Chordata phylum that is found in Africa and Asia. The four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is a type of rodent that has feet with four toes. This type of jerboa is endemic to coastal Egypt and Libya in Africa. They have specially adapted limbs that help them to hop and move around like kangaroos in the deserts. They have an extremely restricted range in very specific habitat zones and these rodents are distributed irregularly throughout their range.
They rarely come into contact with humans. These nocturnal creatures spend most of their day in burrows and come out only at night. These four-toed jerboas build four types of burrows for themselves. The temporary summer day burrow gives the rodents shelter during the day while the temporary night burrow provides a hiding place at night. They also have permanent summer burrows for raising the young pups and a permanent winter burrow for hibernating. They line their burrows with fur. Four-toed jerboas start mating preparations after they emerge from their winter hibernation.
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A four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is a type of Old World jumping rodent.
The four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla), of the Dipodidae family and the Allactaga genus, belongs to the class Mammalia.
The global population of four-toed jerboas has not been quantified. There is very little scientific information regarding the population distribution of the four-toed jerboa species across the animal kingdom. The population trend of these rodents is unclear as they lack accurate scientific data but these animals are listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List.
Jerboas are Old World rodents that are found in the regions of North Africa and Asia. The four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) species has a very restricted range. They are native to the coastal desert regions of Egypt and Libya in Africa. They occur only in the north and east of Africa and parts of the Arabian peninsula.
The species of four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) inhabits desert regions of Africa. They are also found along the coastal salt marshes, clay desert, and semi-desert areas. The nocturnal rodent spends most of its day inside its burrow.
The four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is believed to be a solitary animal. The females stay in the burrows with a male until they have raised all the young pups.
Generally, all the species of jerboa have a lifespan of six years in the wild.
There is very little information regarding the mating behavior of the Old World long-eared jerboa because of their shy and elusive nature. The breeding season of this jerboa species covers a long span and the breeding activities reach a peak between spring, summer, and fall. It is assumed that the males mate with multiple females but the females only have a single mating partner. The male jerboa courts a female by jumping around her. After a gestation period of 25-42 days, the female jerboa gives birth to one to eight pups in a single litter. They can produce up to three broods in a single season. The four-toed jerboa reaches sexual maturity one year after they are born.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Natur (IUCN), the four-toed jerboa species is listed as Endangered. These rodents are threatened by the loss of suitable habitats along the coastal plains of Libya and Egypt. Habitat loss indicates that the population might have decreased in some parts of its range.
Four-toed jerboas are small kangaroo-like jumping animals that are found in deserts. All the species of Old World jerboa such as the four-toed jerboa, five-toed jerboa, long-eared jerboa, desert jerboa (Jaculus jaculus), and others, have similar physical characteristics. This rodent has a small body with long ears and a long tail. Like the five-toed jerboa, the four-toed jerboa has long hind limbs and short forelegs. The hind legs are four times longer than the forelegs. The long tail of the animal helps them to balance while moving and also acts as a brake. The four-toed jerboa has four digits on its feet. They have a velvety fur coat with orangish-red and speckled black upperparts and white underparts. The tail has a feathery white tip.
Their small size, large round eyes, and orangish-red and speckled black upperparts of jerboas make these tiny creatures very cute.
It is assumed that the four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) communicates using the sense of touch and by releasing chemicals.
The length of a four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) ranges between 3.5-10.4 in (90-263 mm). They are two times smaller than rice rats.
The four-toed jerboa moves by hopping. A single jump can cover up to 39-118 in (1-3 m).
The average weight of a four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is 1.8 oz (52 g).
Male and female four-toed jerboas do not have any sex-specific names.
A baby four-toed jerboa is called a pup.
The four-toed jerboa is an omnivorous animal. Their diet primarily includes vegetation and seeds but sometimes they also feed on insects. They do not drink water. Instead, they stay hydrated from their food sources.
No, they are not dangerous.
It is illegal to keep a four-toed jerboa as a pet. They cannot survive in a captive environment.
Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.
Jerboas are banned from the United States primarily because they are a major carrier of monkeypox disease.
The four-toed jerboa has a very restricted range. They are rarely seen in their native habitats as they are a shy and elusive species. However, the rate of loss of suitable habitats in their native region indicates that the jerboa population is indeed threatened and the IUCN lists them as Endangered.
The four-toed jerboa has undergone several evolutions to adapt to the desert lifestyle. These burrowing jerboas have a mouse-shaped skull and an elongated snout which helps them in digging underground tunnels. Their large eyes facilitate their nocturnal vision. The jerboa lives in underground tunnels to protect itself from the scorching heat of the desert sand in the daytime and the freezing cold at night. The forelimbs and the hindlimbs of the species are developed in a way that helps them to move quickly and escape from predators by hopping like kangaroos. The tufts of white hair on the soles of their feet help them to dig sand to make their burrows. The tufts of hair around the ears, and the folded skin around the nose, prevent the entry of air-blown sand into the nostrils and ear holes.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable long-eared jerboa coloring pages.