Animal of the Week

Published 12 April

Animal Studies


This weeks animal of the week is the Arabian Spiny Mouse. Spiny mice inhabit arid regions, including semi-desert, dry woodland and savannah. They are omnivores so they feed on seeds, desert plants, snails and insects. They live in small family groups with its range extending from Mauritania, Morocco and Algeria in the west to Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Egypt.

They are active animals needing regular exercise. Mice use their whiskers to aid detection of objects to explore their environment as well as a well-developed sense of smell and hearing.

Mice can rear up on their hind legs with additional support from the tail – a behaviour known as ‘tripoding’.

Mice are good jumpers, climbers, and swimmers, Males can show aggression towards each other in captivity as one dominant male usually lives together with several females and young. Mice sometimes rattle their tails when angry or frightened, it is often territorial behaviour but can sometimes also be excitement or interest. Male mice also may shuffle their rear end across a surface to scent mark.

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