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Genus: Antechinomys Krefft, 1867 = Marsupial jerboas

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Systematics of the genus Marsupial jerboas:

The genus Marsupial jerboas, recognized independent at the end of the 19th century, used to include two species, subsequently, some scientists identified the Central Australian marsupial jerboa as a subspecies of the East Australian marsupial jerboa, which became the only species of the genus. The names of the species and subspecies indicate their distribution - East and Central Australia. This genus everywhere has a very small number, in some territories it has become extinct, and therefore it is listed in the IUCN International Red Book.

Representatives of this genus live in deserts, semi-deserts, savannahs, rocky areas, sometimes on salt marshes. They are terrestrial animals with nocturnal activity. After digging a deep hole, the animals spend all day there. Marsupial jerboas are predators. They eat lizards, various insects, spiders, can attack small mammals.
Outwardly marsupial jerboas resemble ordinary jerboas. The length of the body is about 7-11 cm, the tail is 10-15 cm. Females of the genus are inferior in weight and size to males. The weight of an adult does not exceed 30 gr. These small animals are characterized by very elongated hind limbs and paws, with the first finger missing from them. There are pads on the feet. The forelimbs are shorter than the hind limbs, but are well developed. Earlier it was believed that marsupial jerboas move in leaps, but this is not so. The way of movement is more like a gallop: pushing with its hind legs, they land on the front. In one “jump” animals cover a distance of about 2 m.
The marsupial jerboas are also characterized by an elongated, sharp muzzle and round at the ends, large, protruding ears. The tail is thin, long and curved, ending with a large tuft of black long hair. These animals are covered with long, thick, soft hair of gray, tan or tan. The ventral side is white. A dark streak often passes through the eye. The peculiarity of marsupial jerboas are also unusually long vibrissae on the wrists.
Reproduction occurs in winter and spring. Females have 6-8 nipples. The bag is poorly developed, opens back. Cubs (3-7) appear in late summer - early winter. For three months they are in the bag. The animals are capable of breeding in the 2nd year of life, with a life expectancy of 2-3 years.

Credit: Portal Zooclub
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Marsupial jerboa / Antechinomys laniger

Study history

Marsupial jerboa (Antechinomys laniger) is the only species of marsupial jerboa.

The marsupial jerboa was first described in 1856 by the English ornithologist John Gould, who included him in the genus of mouse arthropods. Subsequently, the species was classified as part of the genus Sminthopsis until, based on molecular studies, it was confirmed that this species belongs to the independent genus marsupial jerboas, or Antechinomys, which was described in 1867 by the Australian zoologist Gerard Krefft.

In the past, two species were often distinguished in the genus of marsupial jerboas: Antechinomys laniger (or East Australian marsupial jerboa) and Antechinomys spenceri (or Central Australian marsupial jerboa). The last of them has recently been reclassified to subspecies status. The Latin word laniger means "woolly."

Spread

Marsupial jerboas are a rare species found in the arid regions of Australia. In recent years, the range of the animal has declined sharply. Small populations in the Cedar Cove area of ​​Queensland and southern New South Wales are now extinct.

Marsupial jerboas are found on desert plains covered with clay deposits or desert crust, limited populations live on the territory of salt marshes.

Appearance

The length of the body of the marsupial jerboa is 7–10 cm, and the length of the tail reaches 10–15 cm. Weight is 20–30 g; males are larger and more weight than females. Distinctive features of marsupial jerboas are elongated four-fingered hind legs and protruding ears. The color of the top ranges from yellowish gray to sandy brown, the bottom is white. The hairline is long and thick.

Breeding

The breeding season of jerboas lasts from winter to spring. The brood bag in females develops during the breeding period, it opens back and has 6-8 nipples. In the brood, there are from 3 to 6 cubs born in the fall. Cubs feed on milk for three months. Sexual maturity in the species occurs in a year.

Lifestyle

Active animals, mainly at night. They are reclusive animals, and only in the autumn and winter periods they gather in common nests, which contributes to energy conservation. Daylight hours are spent in deep burrows. Females with young do not tolerate the presence of males. They are a ground view. Nests are built near tree stumps or near rocks. When there is a lack of food, it can become numb.

Nutrition

Jerboas are usually insectivorous (eg, locusts, beetles), but on occasion can attack rodents and small lizards, in captivity feed on meat. Accepted feed fully covers the need for water.

Number

Marsupial jerboas are a rare species found in the arid regions of Australia. Recently, the area of ​​the animal has been greatly reduced. And the small populations that lived in Queensland and southern New South Wales are now extinct.

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Our planet is amazing and rich in a variety of incredible representatives of the living! Predatory, herbivorous, poisonous and harmless - they are our brothers. The task of man is to carefully treat the animal world, to know and respect his laws. Indeed, some species are so unique that they have inhabited the Earth since ancient times! Today we will talk about just such a beast. His name is jerboa. It has been known since the Oligocene period (33.9 - 23.03 million years ago). Scientists suggest that the ancestors of modern jerboas stood out in Asia about eight million years ago. From there, they spread to North Africa and Europe. But in Europe, the jerboa has completely died out.

Appearance

Outwardly, jerboas resemble either a kangaroo or a mouse. The head is large relative to the body, with an almost indistinguishable neck. Rounded, slightly flattened muzzle with large dark eyes. Big eyes allow you to catch a larger stream of light information. Huge fan-shaped vibrissa. This is the main organ of touch in many animals. As a rule, long and rounded ears that carry the function of heat transfer and reception of auditory information. The hairline on the ears is rare.

  • Body length: from 4 to 26 cm.
  • Tail Length: 6 to 28 cm.
  • Weight: 10 to 300 grams.

The body is short. The hind limbs are much longer than the front, which is necessary for active running. And the animal uses short, with sharp elongated claws, front limbs for digging holes, manipulating food. The coat is thick and soft. Sand to brown color, mostly plain. There is a light color on the stomach.

It is interesting! The tail of a jerboa may contain a reserve of fat necessary to maintain the body during hibernation or during a period of lack of food.

The tail at the end with a flat tassel, which is a kind of steering wheel when moving. The individual characteristics of the color, structure of the limbs depend on the type and habitat. For example, the color, size of the body as a whole or its individual parts changes.

Lifestyle and behavior

Jerboa night beast . Cautious to such an extent that after sunset it leaves its mink only after an hour. He searches for food all night, going to a distance of 5 km. And in the morning, exactly one hour before sunrise, they return to the shelter. Such reinsurance often saves lives. However, there are species that are active and engaged in the search for food during the day, and at dusk they rush to the house underground.

One type of home is summer. With separated grassy rooms. Often, practical animals make a “back door” in their underground apartments and, in case of a threat, escape through it.

In winter, the animal hibernates, which lasts up to six months. The hibernation hole differs from the usual "residential" hole. It is located much deeper, reaching 2.5 meters. Some species procure food stocks for the winter, and some store it directly in themselves, in the form of fat.

It is interesting! Jerboas are real builders. These hardworking little animals build for themselves more than one house. They have summer and winter burrows, permanent and temporary, burrows for hibernation and burrows for the birth of offspring.

Also, these incredible creatures can have houses for permanent and temporary stay. Permanent houses necessarily have an entrance littered with an earthen lump. Deep down, this peculiar corridor is quite long.

Then, as a rule, a branch appears, leading to a living room in which the surface is covered with grass and there is a place under the “bed” in the form of a ball of wool, moss, feathers — all suitable materials collected on the surface. From it several unfinished moves are already leading to the surface. They are necessary in case of emergency evacuation.

Among jerboas there are those who, instead of building their own house, take it “for rent” from gophers. The jerboa contacts with relatives only during the mating season. He can be called a loner. This is one of the strategies that are used for survival by various representatives of the flora.

Some hold on to the group and survive, having a developed system of communication and coherence among themselves. And some, on the contrary, prefer to develop individually, passing on the genes of the most adapted, fast, invulnerable, cautious and smart to the next generation. And if the individual turned out to be clumsy, slow or inattentive, then it dies. This ensures the survival of the species.

Habitat, habitat

What should be envied by jerboas for other animals is the prevalence in completely different living conditions. They live on almost all continents, where there are steppes, deserts and semi-deserts. These regions include North Africa to southern Sahara, southern Europe, Asia north of the Himalayas.

However, jerboas can be found even in forest-steppes and mountainous terrain. Separate subspecies live even up to 2 thousand meters above sea level. In Russia, one can meet some representatives of the genus: large jerboa, small jerboa, jerboa jerboa, common henchman, borefoot and five-fingered jerboa.

Jerboa diet

The daily food norm for jerboa is 60 grams. The food includes seeds and roots of plants, which they obtain by digging holes.

They like to eat insect larvae. They like to feast on fruits, cereal grains, vegetables. Jerboas practically do not drink water! All moisture is obtained from plants.

Important! The tail of the jerboa says a lot about the state of health and nutrition. If it is round, then the animal eats well and regularly. The tail is thin, with protruding vertebrae, indicating exhaustion.

The diet consists mainly of seeds and plant roots . They are digging jerboas, leaving holes. Insects and their larvae are also eaten. Animals practically do not drink water. They get moisture from plants. During the night, in search of food, one rodent can travel up to 10 km along its food paths.

A day, one animal requires 60 g of various feeds. This population has a great influence on the soil and vegetation of deserts, semi-deserts and steppes, and also serves as food for local predators. At the same time, animals can spread dangerous infectious diseases up to the plague.

IUCN 3.1 Least concern :

Marsupial jerboa (Antechinomys laniger ) is the only species of marsupial jerboa. It lives in woodlands and semi-deserts covered with shrubs in central and southern Australia.

Classification

The marsupial jerboa was first described in 1856 by the English ornithologist John Gould. John gould ), which included it in the genus of mouse species. Subsequently, the species was classified as part of the genus. Sminthopsis , while on the basis of molecular studies it has not been confirmed that this species belongs to an independent genus of marsupial jerboas, or Antechinomys , which was described in 1867 by the Australian zoologist Gerard Krefft. Gerard krefft ).

In the past, two species were often distinguished in the genus of marsupial jerboas: Antechinomys laniger (or East Australian marsupial jerboa) and Antechinomys spenceri (or central Australian marsupial jerboa). The last of them has recently been reclassified to subspecies status. Latin word laniger means "woolly" .

Spread

Marsupial jerboas are a rare species found in the arid regions of Australia. In recent years, the range of the animal has declined sharply. Small populations in the Cedar Cove area of ​​Queensland and southern New South Wales are now extinct.

Marsupial jerboas are found on desert plains covered with clay deposits or desert crust, limited populations live on the territory of salt marshes.

The body length of the marsupial jerboa is 7-10 cm, and the length of the tail reaches 10-15 cm. Weight - 20-30 g, males have larger sizes and weight than females. Distinctive features of marsupial jerboas are elongated four-fingered hind legs and protruding ears. The color of the top ranges from yellowish gray to sandy brown, the bottom is white. The hairline is long and thick.

Breeding

The breeding season lasts from winter to spring. The brood bag develops during the breeding season, opens back, has 6-8 nipples. Young growth (3-6 cubs), as a rule, is born in August-November. Cubs are weaned after three months. Puberty occurs in a year. Life expectancy is 2-3 years.

Excerpt from the Marsupial Jerboa

The next day, the countess, having invited Boris to her, spoke with him, and from that day he stopped visiting the Rostovs.

On December 31, on the eve of the new 1810, le reveillon night supper, there was a ball at the Catherine nobleman. The ball was supposed to have a diplomatic corps and a sovereign.
On the Promenade des Anglais, the famous nobleman’s house shone with countless illumination lights. At the lighted porch with red cloth stood the police, and not just the gendarmes, but the police officer at the porch and dozens of police officers. The crews drove off, and all new ones drove up with red footmen and footmen in feathers on their hats. Men in uniforms, stars and ribbons stepped out of the carriages, ladies in the atlas and ermines cautiously walked along the noisily shelved footrests, and hastily and silently walked along the cloth of the porch.

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