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jumping mice and their relatives


The jumping mouse family is a large family of rodents that are found throughout the northern hemisphere. There are 51 species of jumping mice and their relatives (jerboas and birchmice) in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. They are called “jumping mice” because they are specialized for getting around quickly by hopping, although they can also walk or scurry like other mice. Jumping mice and their relatives have long tails and rear legs and very large rear feet. Their front feet and legs are relatively small. Their long legs and tails make it possible for them to hop long distances, much like kangaroos. Some species can jump up to 3 meters, about 15 times their body length! They use their front feet for gathering and handling food. Jumping mice eat mainly seeds, insects, and plant parts.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Dipodidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 12, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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