Definitions for jerboadʒərˈboʊ ə, dʒɛr-
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mouselike jumping rodent
A small, mouse-like, jumping rodent (family Dipodidae) resembling a miniature kangaroo, having a long tufted tail, very small fore feet, but very long hind legs, native to the deserts of Asia and northern Africa.
any small jumping rodent of the genus Dipus, esp. D. Aegyptius, which is common in Egypt and the adjacent countries. The jerboas have very long hind legs and a long tail
Origin: [Ar. yarb.]
The jerboa forms the bulk of the membership of the family Dipodidae. Jerboas are hopping desert rodents found throughout Northern Africa and Asia east to northern China and Manchuria. They tend to be found in hot deserts. They look like kangaroos due to having many similarities such as long hind legs, very short forelegs, and long tails. Jerboas move around their environment the same way a kangaroo does, which is by hopping. The tail of a jerboa can be longer than its head and body and it is common to see a white cluster of hair at the end of the tail. The tail of a jerboa is used to balance the creature when it is hopping and "as a prop when the jerboa is sitting upright". The fur of a jerboa is fine and is usually the color of sand, this color in most cases matches the environment the jerboa lives in. Some species of the jerboa family have long ears like a rabbit and others have ears that are short like those of a mouse. Most jerboas are known to eat plants. Some species will eat beetles and other insects they come across, but they can not eat hard seeds. Unlike gerbils, jerboas are not known to store food. When chased, jerboas can run at up to 15 miles per hour. Some species are prey for Little Owls in central Asia. Most species of jerboa have excellent hearing which allows them to avoid becoming the prey of these nocturnal predators. The typical lifespan of a jerboa is two to three years.
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