Fun Four-toed Jerboa Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 25, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 23, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Check out these awesome four-toed jerboa facts for kids!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

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.

If you are in search of more four-toed jerboa information, keep on reading this article.

Four-Toed Jerboa Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a four-toed jerboa?

A four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is a type of Old World jumping rodent.

What class of animal does a four-toed jerboa belong to?

The four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla), of the Dipodidae family and the Allactaga genus, belongs to the class Mammalia.

How many four-toed jerboas are there in the world?

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.

Where does a four-toed jerboa live?

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.

What is a four-toed jerboa's habitat?

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.

Who do four-toed jerboas live with?

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.

How long does a four-toed jerboa live?

Generally, all the species of jerboa have a lifespan of six years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

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.

What is their conservation status?

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 Jerboa Fun Facts

What do four-toed jerboas look like?

The four-toed jerboa is nocturnal in nature.

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.

How cute are they?

Their small size, large round eyes, and orangish-red and speckled black upperparts of jerboas make these tiny creatures very cute.

How do they communicate?

It is assumed that the four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) communicates using the sense of touch and by releasing chemicals.

How big is a four-toed jerboa?

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.

How fast can a four-toed jerboa run?

The four-toed jerboa moves by hopping. A single jump can cover up to 39-118 in (1-3 m).

How much does a four-toed jerboa weigh?

The average weight of a four-toed jerboa (Allactaga tetradactyla) is 1.8 oz (52 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female four-toed jerboas do not have any sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby four-toed jerboa?

A baby four-toed jerboa is called a pup.

What do they eat?

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.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

It is illegal to keep a four-toed jerboa as a pet. They cannot survive in a captive environment.

Did you know...

Jerboas are banned from the United States primarily because they are a major carrier of monkeypox disease.

Are four-toed jerboas endangered?

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.

What adaptations do four-toed jerboas have?

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.

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 nutria facts and gopher facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable long-eared jerboa coloring pages.

Four-Toed Jerboa Facts

What Did They Prey On?


What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

1.8 oz (52 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

Salt marsh and dry desert

Where Do They Live?

Egypt, libya

How Long Were They?

3.5-10.4 in (90-263 mm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Allactaga tetradactyla

What Do They Look Like?

Reddish-orange, white, and black

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

habitat loss

What is their Conservation Status?

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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