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Temporal range: 47.8–0 Ma Ypresian - Recent
Eastern spiny mouse (Acomys dimidiatus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Myomorpha
Brandt, 1855


The suborder Myomorpha contains 1,137 species of mouse-like rodents, nearly a quarter of all mammal species. Included are mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, lemmings, and voles. They are grouped according to the structure of their jaws and molar teeth. They are characterized by their myomorphous zygomasseteric system, which means that both their medial and lateral masseter muscles are displaced forward, making them adept at gnawing. As in the hystricognathous rodents, the medial masseter muscle goes through the eye socket, a feature unique among mammals. Myomorphs are found worldwide (apart from Antarctica) in almost all land habitats. They are usually nocturnal seed-eaters.

Most myomorph species belong to the superfamily Muroidea: (hamsters, voles, lemmings, true mice, true rats, and gerbils).

Historically, the definition of the suborder Myomorpha has included one or both of:


  • Carleton, M. D. and G. G. Musser. 2005. Order Rodentia. Pp745–752 in Mammal Species of the World A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds.). Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Clutton-Brock, Juliet (ed.). 2004. Mouse-like Rodents. Pp150–159 in Animal (David Burnley ed.). London, Dorling Kindersley.