Pygmy jerboa: The Smallest rodent in the world

The Pygmy jerboa is the smallest rodent in the world. It is also called as the dwarf three-toed jerboa. The Pygmy jerboa can only be seen in Baluchistan(present Pakistan). The habitat is san dunes and plains in the hot deserts.

pygmy jerboa

Pygmy jerboa holds two titles the smallest rodent as well as the cutest rodent. Just around two inches long and ball-like body with a very long tail. Jerboas are hopping desert rodents, that will use their tail for balancing.

Pygmy jerboa facts

Some interesting facts on Pygmy jerboa are

  • The size of the Pygmy jerboa can reach between 2 inches in length and from one to a couple of ounces in weight. The tail is longer than the body (up to 6 inches).
  • The color of the fur matches the color of the environment (it provides camouflage). The fur is usually beige, yellow or brown in color. Pygmy Jerboa’s tail ends with white tufts.
  • Pygmy Jerboa has a mouse-like head with large eyes and whiskers. Their ears small in size.
  • Pygmy Jerboa has short front feet and four times longer hind feet which are designed for hopping.
  • To prevent sand from entering their nose and ears a small flap of skin is present.
  • Pygmy jerboa lives in the burrows under the shrub during summers and during the rainy season, they stay near to mountains(to avoid flooding).
  • Pygmy jerboa is nocturnal, they are active during the night.
  • They feed on windblown seeds and succulent leaves of desert-adapted vegetation; food is raised to the mouth using the hands. Also, they feed on small insects and feed on roots do extract moisture.
  • During extreme conditions, the Pygmy jerboa goes under facultative hypothermia. The dramatic slowdown of the respiration and blood circulation. This will help the species to survive on a low nutritional diet.
  • The main predators are leaf-nosed viper, the trans-Caspian monitor lizard, and the sand cat.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List states them to be populated in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • In the 1999 Guinness Book of Records, it was listed as tied for the smallest rodent in the world with the African pygmy mouse.

Pygmy jerboa Life cycle and Breeding

Pygmy jerboa breeds two or three times a year. The female jerboa gives birth to two to six litters. They will be blind and naked(fur is absent). Usually, the mating season is during the summer. They can’t jump until they are 11 weeks old.

Pygmy jerboa can live up to 6 years. There are around 33 species of jerboa rodents.

The Smallest Rodent

The cute looking pygmy Jerboa is a fascinating creature, it astonishes many when they see it for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised when this a tiny cotton ball-sized creature is hoping around. The long string tail is well used for their hops.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the rodent can jump over 9 feet. Considering the fact that it is only an average of 1 inch long, it is quite impressive. They are found only in the western Pakistan area. People are falling for their adoring looks.

The rodent looks like a miniature Kangaroo when it stands up. Some people call them its a half mouse and half kangaroo. It has longer hind legs and shorter front legs. This small creature is very to be seen. There is no enough information on their numbers.  It is the only species in the genus Salpingotulus

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