Baluchistan pygmy jerboa

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Baluchistan pygmy jerboa
Temporal range: Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Dipodidae
Subfamily: Cardiocraniinae
Genus: Salpingotulus
Pavlinov, 1980
Species: S. michaelis
Binomial name
Salpingotulus michaelis
(Fitzgibbon, 1966)

The Baluchistan pygmy jerboa, or the dwarf three-toed jerboa, (Salpingotulus michaelis) is a species of rodent in the family Dipodidae. It is the only species in the genus Salpingotulus. Adults average only 4.4 cm (1.7 in) in head and body length, with the tail averaging 8 cm (3.1 in). Adult females weigh 3.75 g (0.132 oz).[2] It is currently considered to be endemic to Pakistan.[1] In the 1999 Guinness Book of Records, it was listed as tied for the smallest rodent in the world with the African pygmy mouse.[3]

Distribution[edit]

This little rodent species has been recorded from Pakistan and may occur in Afghanistan. It frequents sand dunes, gravel flats and plains in hot deserts.[1]

Ecology[edit]

These nocturnal jerboas move through its dry desert habitat in long hops, balancing with the tail. They live in burrows generally excavated under small bushes. They feed on wind blown seeds and succulent leaves of desert-adapted vegetation; food is raised to the mouth using the hands. They undergo a diurnal rhythm of physiological dormancy, when their bodily functions, including respiration and blood circulation, slow down dramatically. This is known as facultative hypothermia and enables the species to survive on a diet of low nutritional value. Two to four young, blind and naked at birth, are born in the spring and summer months. No more than 2 litters a year are normally produced.[4]

Predators[edit]

The natural predators of the jerboa are the leaf-nosed viper (Eristocophis mcmahoni), the trans-Caspian monitor lizard (Varanus caspius), and the sand cat (Felis margarita).[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jordan, M.; Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O. (2008). "Salpingotulus michaelis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 March 2009. 
  2. ^ T.J Roberts (2006). Field Guide To The Small Mammals of Pakistan. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 162. 
  3. ^ The Guinness Book of Records. Guinness. p. 117. ISBN 9780851120706. 
  4. ^ a b Holden, M. E.; Musser, G. G. (2005). "Family Dipodidae". In D. E. Wilson; D. M. Reeder. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 871–893.