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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Golden Mouse: 17 Facts You Won't Believe!

Interesting golden mouse facts including conservation status, distribution, breeding season, and feeding habits.

The Ochrotomys nuttalli is a kind of mouse found in the New World. It has a delicate pelage that ranges in color from golden-brownish to burnt orange. The genus name is derived from the Greek words 'ochre' which refers to a golden or brown soil color, and 'mys' which means 'mouse'. Although the designation Mus has long been abandoned as a generic name for the golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli), the sentiments of Audubon and Bachman (1841) capture the appeal of this species for biologists today, and its morphology, life history, and ecological adaptations remain active research topics. The golden mice in many ways stand in stark contrast to more thoroughly researched species such as the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and the deer mouse (P. maniculatus). Whereas these Peromyscus species may be found in almost every terrestrial environment in North America, it is significantly less common regionally and is more habitat-specific. This mouse is less common in the area and, as a result, has received less attention from researchers.

If you found the facts about the golden mouse interesting, check out our other articles about the harvest mouse and jerboa.

Golden Mouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden mouse?

Golden mice are rodents with golden fur and cream tail.

What class of animal does a golden mouse belong to?

The golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli) belongs to the class of mammals.

How many golden mice are there in the world?

No information is available about the population of golden mice.

Where does a golden mouse live?

Golden mice live in temperate forests. Although they favor a wide range of environments like wet thickets, woods, and broomsedge field margins with vines, trees, and dense underbrush.

What is a golden mouse's habitat?

Golden mice live in dense forests, marshy regions, woodlands, amid vines, and among tiny trees and bushes. These creatures like to dwell in areas where honeysuckle, greenbrier, and red cedar are abundant. They live in conditions that are hot and wet in the summer and dry in the winter in the south-central United States and parts of central Florida. Their nests can be found both in trees and on the ground. Ground nests, which are commonly seen among leaf litter, can be built-in sunken sections of the earth or beneath logs in the forests. Ground nests have both benefits and drawbacks. Floods or damp soil may drive golden mice to abandon their ground nests and seek refuge in trees. However, if the ground nest is not disturbed, it can reduce the risk of predation if the nest is well hidden, a mouse on the ground is more likely to escape a predator, and building a nest on the ground requires less energy because it does not have to run up and down trees with nesting materials. They have been observed converting old bird nests into homes. Otherwise, these creatures build nests from scratch, utilizing various parts and what is available nearby the forests and amid vines. The interior lining of nests is made of soft materials such as milkweed, cotton, feathers, or fur. This fluffy layer is surrounded by a thick layer of woven fibers.

Who do golden mice live with?

Ochrotomys nuttalli is a social animal. In fact, up to eight mice have been found sharing a nest at the same time in forests. Mothers and their children are the most prevalent groupings. Many experts believe that living in communities saves energy. Many scientists speculate that living in groups conserves energy. This idea is supported by the observation that mice are found in groups more often in the winter when such grouping produces a clear-cut thermoregulatory benefit.

How long does a golden mouse live?

The golden mice live up to an average of eight years

How do they reproduce?

This species of mice breed all year round. However, the breeding season varies per location. The majority of O. nuttalli reproduce in Texas from September to spring, but in Kentucky and Tennessee from March to October. In captivity, golden mice breed most frequently in the early spring and late summer. Females can have several litters in a year because the gestation period is approximately 30 days. It has been reported that captive moms can have up to 17 litters of young ones in an 18-month span. A litter of mice O. nutalli usually consists of two or three pups or young ones, although this number can range from one to four. When the litter is born, all adults except the mother depart the nest.

What is their conservation status?

According to IUCN, it is categorized as Least Concern. In the state of Illinois, they are currently threatened with extinction. Southern Illinois University's Department of Zoology is currently researching this rodent's breeding locations.

Golden Mouse Fun Facts

What do golden mice look like?

The O. nuttalli has a body length that varies from 2.0-4.5 in (5.1 to 11.5 cm). The prehensile tail ranges in length from 1.9-3.8 in (5.0 to 9.7 cm), which is almost the same as the body length of this species to which it belongs. The thick and silky golden hair that covers the upper body gives rise to the widespread moniker 'golden mice'. However, its feet and undersides are white, and its tail is cream in hue. Male mice have a baculum tipped with cartilage. Females have six mammae. The cheek teeth of mice contain thick folds of enamel.

Fun facts about the golden mouse include feeding behavior, conservation, litters, and gestation period.
*Please note this is an image of a brown mouse and not a golden mouse. If you have an image of the golden mouse, please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

The thick and silky golden hair that covers the body, along with a small cream tail, gives rise to its ultimate cuteness.

How do they communicate?

They communicate through two modes that are tactile and chemical. Tactile means when they touch the things in their surroundings to communicate while in chemical perception, they use smell and other chemicals to communicate.

How big is a golden mouse?

The average length of the O. nuttalli is 2.01-4.53 in (5.1-11.5 cm) and they are about the same size as a Gobi jerboa.

How fast can a golden mouse run?

It can reach a speed of up to 8 mph (13 kph).

How much does a golden mouse weigh?

It weighs around 0.53-1.06 oz (15-30 g)

What are the male and female names of the species?

Mice have uncommon names. Females are doe, adult males are bucks, and infants are referred to as pinkies due to their shiny red color.

What would you call a baby golden mouse?

Baby mice are referred to as pinkies, pups, or young ones.

What do they eat?

This species of mice are grain-eaters and they mainly feed on seeds. They prefer sumac seeds, but also consume honeysuckle and other seeds found in forests. Sumac seeds are poor quality foods because they contain tannin which reduces the efficiency of enzymes in the mouse's digestive tract. Females feed on annual seeds which are higher in calories and have a significantly higher mean uptake and assimilation rate than females who eat freshly ripened seeds. Flooding of forests is a problem for these mice because the water doesn't attract, sprout, or spoil the seeds.

Are they dangerous?

The golden spiny mouse usually does not bite people (unless they are touched), so this is not a risk. The biggest problem that makes them dangerous is their health risks due to diseases and parasites. Rats can contaminate food and food surfaces.

Would they make a good pet?

This golden mouse breed makes good pets because they are domesticated. Keep them in the middle of the vegetation so that they are not robbed of their natural habitat. Feed them nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables that are good for you a well. As far as feeding is concerned in small quantities, they can also be fed wheat bread. It is best to keep them in the company of other creatures of the same brotherhood as they are very gregarious creatures. To make them happy, play with them and give them things to play with.

Did you know...

These tree-dwelling mice build spherical nests from leaves, bark, and grass up to 15 ft (4.5 m) above the ground in shrubs, vines, or hollow trees in the forests. Up to eight golden mice can huddle together in a nest to keep warm on a winter night.

Naming the golden mouse

The organism is named a golden mouse because of its golden plumage.

What eats the golden mouse?

Golden mouse predators include many nocturnal animals, including owls and weasels. Various studies have shown that the rattlesnake and the bobcat also survive in these creatures.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including pygmy jerboa. mouse or Gray Dwarf Hamster.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our golden mouse coloring pages.

*Please note this is an image of the golden spiny mouse and not a golden mouse. If you have an image of the golden mouse, please let us know at [email protected]

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