Four-toed jerboa

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Four-toed jerboa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Dipodidae
Genus: Allactaga
Subgenus: Scarturus
Gloger, 1841
Species: A. tetradactyla
Binomial name
Allactaga tetradactyla
Allactaga tetradactyla distribution.svg
Geographic range

The four-toed jerboa (Scarturus tetradactyla) is a rodent of the family Dipodidae and genus Allactaga that has four digits. They are native to Egypt and Libya. Four-toed jerboas live in coastal salt marshes and dry deserts.

Physical appearance[edit]

Similar to the other jerboas in the genus Allactaga, the four-toed jerboa are small hopping rodents with large ears and a long tail with a black band near the white, feathery tip. The tail assists and serves as support when the jerboa is standing upright.[2] They have long hind feet and short forelegs.[3] The pelt of the four-toed jerboa is velvety in texture and the upper-parts are speckled black and orange, the rump orange, and the sides gray. The four-toed jerboa hind-limbs have an extra digit compared to other jerboas in the genus Allactaga. The extra digit is smaller in size and nonfunctional compared to the other three digits.[4]


Emerging at night, the four-toed jerboa eats grass, leaves, and soft seeds.[5] The low crown molars and soft palates help the Four-toed Jerboa chew plant material and seeds.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

The four-toed jerboa was listed as an animal on the Endangered Species List by the IUCN Red List. They are facing a very high risk of extinction due to habitat loss and restricted range.


  1. ^ Gerrie, R. & Kennerley, R. 2017. Allactaga tetradactyla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T850A22201540. Downloaded on 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ Kirmiz, John P. Adaptation to Desert Environment; A Study on the Jerboa, Rat and Man. London: Butterworths, 1962. 17. Print.
  3. ^ Lagassé, Paul. "Jerboa." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.
  4. ^ Shahin, A (2005). "Growth and Maturation of Metatarsals and Their Taxonomic Significance in the Jerboas Allactaga and Jaculus (Rodentia: Dipodidae)". Acta. 86 (2): 82. 
  5. ^ Holden, M. E. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Family Dipodidae. pp. 871–893 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  6. ^ Basyouny Shahin, Adel (1999). "A Comparative Study of the Molar and Soft Palate Characters of the Genera Allactaga and Jaculus (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Egypt". Zoology in the Middle East. 18 (1): 17–32. doi:10.1080/09397140.1999.10637779.