Fun Jerboa Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Jerboa facts about the desert-dwelling long-tailed animal with whiskers.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

Long-eared Jerboas are small animals with body structures resembling kangaroos with larger hind feet but faces with large eyes, ears, and whiskers similar to a mouse. Jerboas resemble kangaroo rats, but they do not belong to the same rodent family.

The scientific name of Long-eared Jerboa is Euchoreutes naso. The desert-dwelling animal is nocturnal, solitary, and lives in a burrow in the Palearctic ecozone from southernmost Mongolia to northwestern China.

Long-eared Jerboas have their ears one-third longer than their heads and tails almost double the size of their body length with a black and white tuft on the end. They use this tail to balance while jumping or hopping and sitting on it upright.

It is easy to tame. They make lovely pets and are believed to be very good at communicating weather forecasts!

They run at high speed to protect themselves from multiple predators and are said to jump to a height of almost six feet. Read on for Jerboa facts!

If you like our article, then you should also through our similar articles marsupial and short-beaked echidna facts.

Jerboa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Jerboa?

Jerboas are tiny animals that resemble kangaroos in body structure with large hind legs and short forelegs. They are a family of rodents.

What class of animal does a Jerboa belong to?

Jerboa is an animal that belongs to the Mammalia class. The order is Rodentia, and the species is from the Dipodidae family of genus Euchoreutes. The scientific name of this long-eared Jerboa is Euchoreutes naso.

How many Jerboa are there in the world?

The population of the Jerboa species is in abundance. These leaping rodents are found across their habitat and adapted to their environment.

Where does a Jerboa live?

Jerboas are desert-dwelling and hopping little creatures. They live in burrows and plug them at the entrance to avoid overheating or overcooling their burrows in the extreme climatic conditions of the desert. In case of predation, they have an emergency exit for their burrow.

What is a Jerboa's habitat?

Jerboas are found across the deserts of Asia, North Africa, and Arabia. They prefer living in the burrows dug around oases and valleys to find the vegetation. Since these animals depend on plants and the tiny insects dwelling on them, they also prefer field boundaries. During the rainy season, they prefer their burrows in hilly rocks to avoid flooding.

Who do Jerboas live with?

The lifespan of Jerboas is two to six years in the wild. Yet even in the wild, they face many threats as they are an easy catch for foxes, cats, snakes, owls. In captivity, their lifespan depends on the conditions provided for their survival.

How long does a Jerboa live?

The lifespan of Jerboas is two to six years in the wild. But even in the wild, they face many threats as they are an easy catch for foxes, cats, snakes, owls. In captivity, the lifespan depends on the conditions provided for its survival.

How do they reproduce?

Jerboas are sexually mature at 14 weeks of age and a female gives birth twice a year during summer. Not much information is available about their mating and parental behavior; however, it is known to deliver two to six young ones at a time.

This species is supposedly polygynous and reproduces during summer since winters in the desert are freezing. The young ones take around 8-11 months to develop right hind legs and other features before jumping out of their burrows on their own.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the long-eared Jerboa as of today is Least Concern. Studies show that this species' population is declining due to human encroachment into their habitat regions and adverse summer and winter climatic conditions due to climate changes.

Jerboa Fun Facts

What do Jerboas look like?

Jerboas look like miniature kangaroos with rodent-like faces. They have large hind legs but short forelegs. The face of the animal resembles a rodent with large eyes and whiskers.

The ears of this tiny creature can be long in some subspecies. The tail is double the size of its body length, and the color of its fur is beige, brownish-white providing camouflage in its environment. Though there is a resemblance to the kangaroo and a rat, a Jerboa is not a kangaroo rat.

Jerboas look like kangaroos and rats but are not kangaroo rats.

How do they communicate?

Jerboa species have a strong sense of smell. They can pick up vibrations in the sand with their feet. They growl and make hissing sounds to communicate, and some believe that they have their communication for a weather forecast. Studies have revealed that these species engage in dust bathing to use chemical communication.

How big is a Jerboa?

Long-eared Jerboa weighs between 0.9-1.3 oz (3-24 g). They are just as small as rodents with more extended hind feet and larger ears. The body length of a long-eared Jerboa is between 2.8-3.5 in (7-9 cm), whereas its tail is longer than its body length measuring between 5.9-6.4 in (15-16.2 cm). The tail is almost like their fifth limb.

How fast can a Jerboa run?

Jerboas can run up to 15 mph (24 kmph) using all four feet because they are prone to predation. Their only escape from predators is to run away as fast as they can, hide in the burrow, or run out of the burrow in another direction if predators like foxes, cats, snakes, and owls hunt them from there.

Otherwise, they walk by jumping or skipping like gaits with their hind feet.

How much does a Jerboa weigh?

Long-eared Jerboa weighs between 0.9-1.3 oz (3-24 g). With comparatively larger back legs, they look like tiny kangaroos but have a mouse-like appearance and are no bigger than them.

What are their male and female names of the species?

No separate names are given for this species' male and female counterparts. However, solitary animal species make burrows in colonies.

What would you call a baby Jerboa?

A baby Jerboa is called a pup. The pup is very tiny with closed eyes and no fur at birth. The four legs are also of the same size as the back legs, and fur takes time to develop.

What do they eat?

The long-eared Jerboa and other species of Jerboa depend on plants and tiny insects for their diet in the desert. They depend on the plants' roots for hydration, but they are observed drinking water in captivity. Jerboas hibernate in the winter.

Are they dangerous?

The long-eared Jerboa is not dangerous at all. Jerboas are tiny animals, and they are themselves very docile; in contrast, they have many dangers from multiple predators like foxes, cats, snakes, and owls in the wild.

Would they make a good pet?

Jerboas can make a great pet under proper care. They are docile, intelligent, and harmless but need requisite special conditions to survive in captivity. The species need a larger enclosure than a mouse or a rodent of the same size, and the diet in captivity must include seeds, fresh vegetables, lentils, and hay.

Lesser and Greater Egyptian Jerboa are the two species in the pet trade. The CDC has banned the import of these creatures into the United States, but in Europe, they are well-bred.

Did you know...

One of the Eastern Jerboa marsupial facts is that it is the only Jerboa species endemic to Australia with a pouch for its offspring. These are the only Jerboas that are marsupials and are now endangered.

The ears and eyes of this desert species have flaps to protect them from the sand.

The long-eared Jerboa has a burrow for the summer and winter seasons, along with a temporary burrow. Studies are underway for why they dig so many.

Different types of Jerboa

There are 33 species of Jerboas under seven subfamily categories of the Dipododae family. They are taxonomically different species. The names of the subfamilies are Zapodinae, Sicistinae, Cardiocraniinae (pygmy Jerboa facts lead us to this subfamily), Dipodinae, Euchoreutinae (long-eared Jerboa facts lead us to this subfamily), Allactaginae (Gobi Jerboa facts lead us to this subfamily), and Paradipodinae.

Are Jerboas banned?

The CDC has banned Jerboas as a pet after a parasite disease (probably monkeypox) outbreak in the species and other rodents in the area. The ban on rodents from Africa and the lack of success in captive breeding means this species is not available in the U.S. now.

Strict rules are in place even to import this species from other areas for educational or scientific purposes.

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 field vole, or kangaroo.

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

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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