Fun Lesser Egyptian Jerboa Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
May 03, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
Lesser Egyptian Jerboa facts about a small rodent species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

There are a total of 33 Jerboa species. They are innately rodents however, at first sight, they appear to be like a standing mouse.

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Jaculus jaculus, too is one subspecies of the same family. Such species can only be seen in parts of Africa, certain parts of Asia, and the Arab nations. They are compared to the kangaroo rat who are from the same family but not the same species.

Jerboas are a dark sandy color with light underparts, two feet, and two small hands. They usually rest standing, unlike other species of rodents like mice that have four equal-sized feet and face the floor. They also differ in color and pattern.

Jerboa species feed on multiple things ranging from insects to fungi to other plant matter and others. In this article, you will find some interesting information related to desert rodents. If you like this article, then visit our gopher and naked mole rat facts too.

Lesser Egyptian Jerboa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa?

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa is a rodent animal that belongs to the Animalia kingdom and order Rodentia and genera Jaculus.

What class of animal does a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa belong to?

Lesser Egyptian jerboa Jaculus jaculus belongs to the Mammalia class of species family Dipodidae and genus Jaculus.

How many Lesser Egyptian Jerboas are there in the world?

The exact number of Lesser Egyptian jerboas in the world is not evaluated. There are a total of  33 species in the family.

Where does a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa live?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa, Jaculus jaculus, lives primarily in the deserts and semi-desert regions in countries like Sudan, Israel, Morocco, Egypt regions and Africa, Central Asia, and Arabia continents.  

What is a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa's habitat?

The Lesser Jerboa habitat range is from desert environments to rocky valleys and meadows. These small beings have adapted to desert climates by utilizing burrow systems. They are seen primarily in Africa, Central Asia, and Arabia continents.  

Who do Lesser Egyptian Jerboas live with?

They are solitary beings and seldom seen in groups. They live on their own, unlike other species of rodents. They come together only during mating season.

How long does a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa live?

Lesser Egyptian jerboa lives up to six years when held in captivity and four years in the wild. This is because in the wild they are more prone to attacks from predators and other dangers.

How do they reproduce?

They breed twice yearly in the wild and every three years when held in captivity. The breeding season is from June to July and from October to December. Males are polyamorous and mate with multiple females however, females are monogamous and mate with only one.

Males attract possible mates by standing on their feet in front of a female and slapping at her in regular intervals with the front short limbs. Females build nesting chambers underground.

Females post-mating give birth to three offspring per litter. The young jerboas become independent a few weeks later. Development takes place in 8-10 weeks.

Young jerboas held in captivity do not survive since the mother kicks the offspring out almost immediately however in the wild the young and the mother survives in the same burrow and close contact with their mother.

What is their conservation status?

The Lesser Egyptian conservation status is Least Concern as per the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Lesser Egyptian Jerboa Fun Facts

What do Lesser Egyptian Jerboas look like?

Lesser Egyptian jerboas at first appear similar to other rodent species like mice and rats however they appear different when looked at closely. They have similar characteristics too, however, their locomotion is different since their limb segments i.e.

the forelegs are shorter and their feet are huge giving them enough balance to stand on their feet and toes. They build their burrows in the desert through hard work and keep their young ones in there too in the wild.

Their tail is long with a clump of hair at the end which aids their balance. Their face is shaped similarly to a mouse with large ears and eyes that are brown and gray with fur.

Lesser Egyptian jerboas' characteristics are similar to kangaroos in terms of their leaping and jumping..

How cute are they?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa is extremely cute and small in size and filled with energy. However, the Lesser Egyptian jerboa in the wild is a carrier of diseases, and hence it's safe to maintain a distance while observing them.

How do they communicate?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa communicate with each other through various means of communication

How big is a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa has a small size of 3.74-4.33 in (95-110 mm). The Lesser Egyptian jerboa is two times bigger than the smallest mammal in the world the bumblebee bat at 1.14-1.29 in (29-33 mm).

How fast can a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa run?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa jumps and covers great distances with its huge feet.

How much does a Lesser Egyptian Jerboa weigh?

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa weighs 0.09-0.16 lb (43-73 g). Their body mass is dependent on their diet as well as other external factors. The Pygmy jerboa is the smallest jerboa species and weighs 3.8g.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female of the species are not addressed differently however they differ in reproductive functions. Males try to attract possible mates while females are monogamous.

What would you call a baby Lesser Egyptian Jerboa?

A baby Lesser Egyptian jerboa can be referred to as a juvenile or as a baby itself. At birth, they are extremely tiny and born without hair.

They weigh about 2 g and their eyes are closed. The young kangaroo rat creature is completely dependent on its mother in the initial few weeks. Baby Jerboas in captivity have a high risk of survival.

What do they eat?

These species usually forage for food in the night when it's safe. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa food consists of small insects and fungi they are also seen feeding on roots, grass, grains, and seeds as well. They are transmitters of disease and are similar to other species of rodents.

Are they dangerous?

They appear harmless and they don't bite however they are transmitters of disease and can be considered dangerous to humans since they transmit monkeypox. This is one of the major reasons these species are banned by governmental authorities.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are not good pets. They are rarely kept as pets and treated similarly to other species of rodents. A Lesser Egyptian jerboa breeder would have more in-depth knowledge about this.

They are capable of being used in a laboratory setting just like other species of mice/rats are used for scientific experimentation. When held in captivity they live longer than compared to when living in the wild. They are specifically banned in the United States and it's illegal to possess one of these species.

Did you know...

Jerboas don't need water. They absorb the water content they require from their food. Such an amazing ability for these species to sustain themselves in desert environments.

Great Britain used the Jerboa as a mascot in the second world war. They looked to its abilities as a role model. British artist Anna Redwood built a half-ton sculpture of a jerboa made of scrapped armored vehicles to relate the two events.

How have Lesser Egyptian Jerboas adapted to their environment?

These small beings have adapted to desert climates by utilizing burrow systems. They also can escape extreme climates. It also utilizes its forearms and legs to dig. While doing so the excess skin around their nose as well as the hair in their ear keep the sand from entering. They enter their burrows if they sense any predators.

How did the Lesser Egyptian Jerboa get its name?

The word minor is Latin for lesser, and the word jerboa is derived from the Arabic word 'jarbu' meaning hopping rodents. Jerboa has been derived from its characteristics and the regions its native to.

The Lesser Egyptian jerboa is just one unique species from the 33 Jerboa species. If you ever spot these species while traveling or in your native region, remember to keep a safe distance.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our Mongoose fun facts, and Badger interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable lesser Egyptian jerboa coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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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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Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

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