The Long-Eared Jerboa's Diet

Written by mary sharp
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The Long-Eared Jerboa's Diet
The long-eared jerboa looks much like a common field mouse, but with enormous ears and long back legs. (mouse image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com)

The long-eared jerboa is a small rodent native to the deserts of China and Mongolia. It resembles a common field mouse except for its two enormous ears and long back legs which are used for hopping. The long-eared jerboa is a member of the Dipodidae rodent family which also contains birch mice and jumping mice. Because the long-eared jerboa is nocturnal, small and lives in an isolated habitat, little is known about the habits of this creature.

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Feeding Habits

Long-eared jerboas are nocturnal, feeding primarily at night and resting during the daytime within underground tunnels in their desert habitat.

Plants

Though the long-eared jerboa's diet consists mostly of insects, it is thought to feed on desert plants and plant seeds. Other jerboa species eat mostly plants, but the long-eared jerboa's diet is only partially made up vegetation.

Insects

The long-eared jerboa eats mostly desert invertebrates and insects, especially flying insects, such as beetles, grasshoppers and ants.

Hunting

Long-eared jerboas use their large ears to listen for insects flying at night. When they have located an insect, they spring on it using their long legs, catching their prey quickly.

Water

Long-eared jerboas, like most jerboa species, usually do not drink water. Instead, they get moisture from the plants and insects that they eat.

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