Fun African Pygmy Mouse Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun African Pygmy Mouse Facts For Kids

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One of the smallest rodents found in the entire world, the adorable African pygmy mouse is very common. People love having them as pets! The African pygmy mouse (Mus minutoides) is incredibly small in size. They have a red fur coat with a pale belly. These fragile animals are nocturnal therefore they are active during the night. They are social animals and it is essential for them to be around other pygmy mice. Due to their small and delicate bodies, they must be handled with care because even the slightest jerk or loud noises can be threatening to these cute rodents. If you ever come across one, you will find it hard to resist picking them up because they are that cute, however this rodent is not supposed to be handled as they are really delicate.

An interesting characteristic of the African pygmy mouse is that unlike other mammals, its sex is determined by the X chromosome and not the Y chromosome. This species can be seen in abundance in south Sub-Saharan Africa living in colonies in the wild near rivers.

Here are some mind-blowing facts about other animals like the dormouse and tufted titmouse!

Fun African Pygmy Mouse Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects and bugs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.10-0.28oz (3-12g)

How long are they?

5 in (12.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Pale belly and brownish-red coat

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

And Grasslands, Burrows, Under Logs


Sub-saharan Africa And Central And Eastern Africa









African Pygmy Mouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African pygmy mouse?

The African pygmy mouse (Mus minutoides)is a rodent found in southern Sub-Saharan Africa. They are the tiniest of their species growing about 1.2-3.1 in (3.04-7.8 cm) long in size. They are mammals from the genus of Mus. These are tiny, delicate animals with a red fur coat and their underside is creamy white. They are social and are known to be close to their breeders. They are nocturnal indicating that they prefer to be active at night. They are known to jump really high, around 18 in (45 cm) in air, therefore these cute rodents cannot be handled.

What class of animal does an African pygmy mouse belong to?

They are one of the smallest mice belonging to the class of Mammalia. Did you know that they come from the family Muridae which is considered a superfamily because it has around 1000 species of mice under it? How cool! Their scientific name is Mus minutoides. Although they are mammals, the sex of African pygmy mice is determined by the X chromosome and not the Y.

How many African pygmy mice are there in the world?

The population range of these rodents is not known. Fortunately, this species is labeled as Least Concern.

Where does an African pygmy mouse live?

African pygmy mice (Mus minutoides) are often seen living in colonies in the wild. Their distribution range is found across the south of the Sahara to eastern Africa, central Africa, South Africa, and Swaziland.

What is an African pygmy mouse's habitat?

They live in areas with lots of grass near rivers. The African pygmy mouse habitat is diverse. They are very common and live in colonies with other pygmy mice which consists of both males and females.

Who does the African pygmy mouse live with?

African pygmy mice are highly social and need to be with other African pygmy mice. In the wild, this species lives in colonies near water. They are often seen living in individual family units in their burrows.  In captivity, you can keep them with same-sex groupings. They mature very fast and start breeding pretty early.

How long does an African pygmy mouse live?

Their average life span is one to two years. The African pygmy mouse lifespan is highly influenced by its habitat. As a pet, they cannot survive well if they are handled because they are fragile and startled by sudden movements causing them to jump really high which can be dangerous for them.

How do they reproduce?

These mammals mature around the age of six to eight weeks, after which they start breeding. The female completes her gestation period in 20 days and gives birth to a litter. If you have them as a pet, know that they reproduce a lot! Unlike other mammals, the sex of this species is defined by the X chromosome.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of adorable African pygmy mice is stable and falls under the label of Least Concern.

African Pygmy Mouse Fun Facts

What does an African pygmy mouse look like?

An African pygmy mouse has a small body with brownish-red fur and adorable triangular ears. They have small eyes. There is a blue variant existing too. Young mice are gray in color which changes as they grow older.

African Pygmy Mouse

How cute are they?

African pygmy mice are extremely adorable and are an amazing pet to have around. Their small body is really delicate so extra care needs to be taken. This means they cannot really be handled. As pets, they are often kept in pairs because their social needs are very high and need other males and females around to communicate.

How do they communicate?

They don't have a specific vocal tone that they communicate in. They are known to be a little aggressive towards other males. Ideally, a breeding group consists of one male and three females. They are playful and active. They do not really bite but their bite is known to tear skin, so to be on the safer side, don't handle them.

How big is an African pygmy mouse?

The size of their body is really tiny and they will fit in the palm of your hand. Its tail is almost half the size of its body. Young mice are the size of an eraser! However due to their small bodies, African pygmy mouse care is a little high maintenance because you need a tank that is escape-proof and large in size. These mouse are of the same size as some hamsters, like the golden hamster.

How fast can an African pygmy mouse run?

Although small in size, they are swift runners and these rodents can jump up to 18 in (45 cm). They are excellent climbers.

How much does an African pygmy mouse weigh?

These tiny rodents have small bodies and are really lightweight. They weigh around 0.10-0.28 oz (3-12g). Their weight is directly influenced by the food it consumes. Often in the wild, they are seen to be feeding on worms, insects, and grains.

What are the male and female names of the species?

So far, no specific name has been assigned to the male and female species.

What would you call a baby African pygmy mouse?

There is no specific name assigned to baby African pygmy mice.

What do they eat?

In the wild, these rodents feed on lots of food because of their high metabolism. They feed on bugs, seeds, and fruits. They require lots of water too. In captivity, you can provide them a healthy protein diet with parakeet seeds mix or nuts, worms, and insects. They eat a variety of foods in captivity which can extend their lifespan.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not. They don't bite either, however, their teeth are known to cause a tear in skin tissue so be careful.

Would they make a good pet?

If you are looking for a pet you don't want to cuddle with, then yes! These animals are fascinating to watch in their tanks. They are very social and active and need to be entertained. They are quite easy to take care of however their tanks, food, and other necessities might be a little heavy on the pockets. They are delicate and cannot be manhandled.

Did you know...

African pygmy mice breeding occurs at a very early age.

These adorable animals stack small pebbles in front of their burrows and overnight, when dew is formed on them, they lick the water off in the morning. Their burrows are formed under fallen logs.

Why are they called African pygmy mice?

Their name is influenced by their distribution range across Africa and which helps in distinguishing them from other subspecies belonging to the Muridae family.

How is it different from regular mice?

Unlike other mice, they are not harmful to humans and do not carry diseases with them.

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 wood mouse facts and antelope squirrel facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African pygmy mouse coloring pages.

Written By
Vineet Adnala

<p>Vineet has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai. With expertise in digital marketing, SEO, content creation, social media marketing, and content strategy. Vineet is also a talented painter and digital artist, with a passion for cooking, music, and football.</p>

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