Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eurasian Harvest Mouse

Eurasian Harvest Mouse
The harvest mouse Micro mys minus is a small rodent native to Europe and Asia. It is typically found in fields of cereal crops such as wheat and oats, in reed beds and in other tall ground vegetation, such as long grass and hedgerows. It has reddish-brown fur with white underparts and a naked, highly prehensile tail which it uses for climbing. It is the smallest European rodent an adult may weigh as little as 4 grams . It eats chiefly seeds and insects but also nectar and fruit. Breeding nests are spherical constructions carefully woven from grass and attached to stems well above the ground.The harvest mouse ranges from 55 to 75 mm  long and its tail from 50 to 75 mm  long it weighs from 4 to 11 g  or about half the weight of the house mouse . Its eyes and ears are relatively large. It has a small nose with short, stubble-like whiskers, and thick, soft fur somewhat thicker in winter than in summer.The upper part of the body is brown, sometimes with a yellow or red tinge and the under-parts range from white to cream colored. It has a prehensile tail which is usually bicoloured and fur less at the tip. The mouse's rather broad feet are adapted specifically for climbing, with a somewhat disposable large outermost toe allowing it to grip stems with each hind foot and its tail thus freeing the mouse's fore paws for food collection. Its tail is also used for balance.


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