Indian desert jird

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Indian desert jird
Indian Desert Jird.jpeg
At Tal Chappar Sanctuary, Churu District, Rajasthan, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Gerbillinae
Genus: Meriones
Subgenus: Cheliones
Thomas, 1919
Species: M. hurrianae
Binomial name
Meriones hurrianae
(Jerdon, 1867)

The Indian desert jird (Meriones hurrianae) is a species of jird found mainly in the Thar Desert in India. Jirds are closely related to gerbils.


The Indian desert jird is found in southeastern Iran and Pakistan to northwestern India. In India they can be found in Rajasthan and Gujarat.


The Indian desert jird has a grey-brown coat with yellowish-grey belly. It is approximately 12–14 centimetres (4.7–5.5 in) long and has a tail 10–15 cm (3.9–5.9 in) long. The distinguishing characteristics include short ears, long black claws and orange incisors.


Jirds inhabit desert and barren areas preferring firm soil. They are not to be found in pure sand dunes or rocky outcrops.

Desert Jird found at Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan


The jirds are gregarious and their burrows are seen close by. Each jird will have at least two or more entrances to his burrow complex. Often the entrance is in the shade of a tree or near the trunk of bushes. They feed on seeds, roots, nuts, grasses and insects.

Difference between 'jirds' and 'gerbils'[edit]

Meriones hurrianae

Jirds are closely related to gerbils but are differentiated by the absence of long hind feet and the characteristic erect posture of a gerbil. The tail is generally shorter than the head and body in a jird. It also has much shorter ears. In addition, the Indian desert jird is diurnal, in comparison to the three common gerbil species found in India which are nocturnal.


External links[edit]