Zapodinae

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Jumping mice
Temporal range: Middle Miocene - Recent
Zapus hudsonius.jpg
Zapus hudsonius preblei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Eutheria
Order: Rodentia
Family: Dipodidae
Subfamily: Zapodinae
Coues, 1875
Genera

Eozapus
Napaeozapus
Zapus

Jumping mice (subfamily Zapodinae) are a group of mouse-like rodents in North America and China.

Although mouse-like in general appearance, these rodents are distinguished by their elongated hind limbs, and, typically, by the presence of four pairs of cheek-teeth in each jaw. There are five toes to all the feet, but the first in the fore-feet is rudimentary, and furnished with a flat nail. The tail makes up for 60% of its body length and is used to gain balance while bounding. The cheeks have pouches. The Sichuan jumping "Yeti" mouse (Eozapus setchuanus) from China can be identified by the ‘Y’ marking on its belly.

Jumping mice live in wooded areas, grassy fields and alpine meadows. When disturbed, they start off with enormous bounds of eight or ten feet in length, which soon diminish to three or four; and in leaping the feet scarcely seem to touch the ground. they are nocturnal and generally live alone. The nest is placed in clefts of rocks, among timber or in hollow trees, and there are generally three litters in a season.

Classification[edit]

There are 5 species listed in Mammal Species of the World (2005).[1]

Subfamily Zapodinae, Jumping mice

References[edit]

  1. ^ Holden, M. E.; Musser, G. G. (2005). "Family Dipodidae". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 871–893. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.