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Meet The Tiny Animal That Looks Like A Cross Between A Mouse & A Kangaroo

Those huge rabbit ears are perfect for hearing the insects with the added bonus of keeping the little creature cool.

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(TMU) – On the off chance that you come across the tiny long-eared jerboa in the wild, you’d probably do a double, and wonder whether it’s a mouse, a rabbit or a tiny kangaroo with a pig’s snout perhaps? Mother Nature absolutely has a sense of humor but when she put this little creature together she knew exactly what it needed to survive in its natural habitat.

The long-eared jerboa (Euchoreutes naso), native to the deserts of southern Mongolia and northwestern China, is primarily a nocturnal mouse like rodent which spends its days in underground burrows to escape the harsh desert heat, emerging at night to feast mostly on flying insects. Jerboas don’t drink water and get all the moisture they need from the insects and plants they eat.

Those huge rabbit ears are perfect for hearing the insects with the added bonus of keeping the little creature cool, the long kangaroo legs and large feet are great for leaping into the air to catch them with the long tail adding balance and a piggy snout for smell. A perfect combination for the perfect desert dweller!

The jerboa has a lifespan of about 2 to 3 years and weighs between 0.85-1.3 oz (24-38g). The ears are two-thirds as long as its body, making it one of the largest ear-to-body ratios in the animal kingdom. Its head and body measures 2.8 in (70mm) in length and the tail doubles that length, between 5.9-6.4 in (150-62mm) and large hind feet measuring between 1.6-1.8 in (40-46mm). Similar to the kangaroo, the front legs are small and not used for getting around and used for grooming and feeding.

This unique mammal was apparently first captured on camera in 2007 when the Zoological Society of London EDGE of Existence Programme sent a researcher to study human impact on its environment, which helped start a campaign to protect them.

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Маленькое чудо большой пустыни Гоби: длинноухий тушканчик! При общей длине тела до 9 сантиметров, уши этого уникального зверька достигают 6 сантиметров! В двух словах – самое длинноухое существо на Земле)) #wildlife #nature #animals #world #incredible #amazing #wonderful #beautiful #wildcat #ourplanetdaily #nikon #nikonrussia #follow #natgeowild #photooftheday #natgeoru #snowleopard #дикаяприрода #дикаяприродароссии #манул #дальневосточныйлеопард #амурскийтигр #рысь #сайгак #мархур #каракал

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Talia Yuki Moore, a Harvard graduate studying movement in three jerboa species, told National Geographic: “Jerboas have very erratic locomotion, adopting a zigzag trajectory, and can jump several feet both vertically and horizontally, even though they are usually about the size of your fist.”

Moor also believes those large years may help keep desert animals such as the jerboa cool, explaining: “As the blood moves through the ear, the heat easily dissipates from the blood vessel across the skin, and into the air.”

There are 33 species of jerboa of which the long-eared jerboa is the most oddly proportioned member of the family. Six of these species are considered pygmy.

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