Somalia gerbil

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Somalia gerbil
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Superfamily: Muroidea
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Gerbillinae
Genus: Gerbillus
Species: G. dunni
Binomial name
Gerbillus dunni
Thomas, 1904

The Somalia gerbil, Gerbillus dunni, is a rodent species distributed mainly in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. It is an animal of dry grassland and rocky plains. It was first described by the British zoologist Oldfield Thomas as Gerbillus dunni in 1904. Its karyotype is 2n=74.[2] Its natural habitat is not under threat and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Description[edit]

The Somalia gerbil is one of eight very similar species of gerbil native to northeastern Africa, the others being Berbera gerbil (G. acticola), Brockman's gerbil (G. brockmani), cushioned gerbil (G. pulvinatus), Harwood's gerbil (Dipodillus harwoodi), least gerbil G. pusillus, Somalian gerbil Dipodillus somalicus and Waters's gerbil (G. watersi). The Somalia gerbil can be distinguished from the others by the hairy soles to its hind feet. The head-and-body length is about 98 mm (3.9 in) and the tail 135 mm (5.3 in). The mass is about 38 g (1.34 oz).[3]

Distribution[edit]

The Somalia gerbil is native to the Horn of Africa. Its range includes Eritrea, Djibouti, eastern Ethiopia and northern Somalia. Its typical habitat is bare or scantily-vegetated, rocky plains, dry grassland and dry savannah.[1]

Status[edit]

The Somalia gerbil is present in a large area of suitable habitat. No particular threats have been identified and the population is believed to be steady, and although it is seldom seen, its population is presumed to be large. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Schlitter, D (2008). "Gerbillus dunni". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Capanna, E.; Merani, M.S. (1981). "Karyotypes of Somalian rodent populations". Monitore Zoologico Italiano. 14 (1): 227–240. doi:10.1080/03749444.1981.10736623. 
  3. ^ Ara Monadjem; Peter J. Taylor; Christiane Denys; Fenton P.D. Cotterill (2015). Rodents of Sub-Saharan Africa: A biogeographic and taxonomic synthesis. De Gruyter. pp. 540–542. ISBN 978-3-11-030191-5.