Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Brief Introduction to Wagner’s Gerbil

1. The scientific name for Wagner’s gerbil is Dipodillus dasyurus.
2. It is found mainly in the Nile Delta, the Sinai, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula
3.it is also called the rough-tailed dipodil or Wadi Hof gerbil
4. They are medium-sized and slender rodent with a silky coat
5. They are coloured sandy-brown in colour on their upper parts and grey at the base, and the underside is white
6. Their Head-body length measures between7 – 11 cm and their length: 8.4 – 14.5 cm
7. They weigh 27grams
8. They inhabit a diverse range of habitats including mountainous areas (up to 2,000 metres), rocky hills, semi-desert and desert
9. They are classed as a species if least concern
10. Male Wagner’s gerbils are generally larger and heavier than females

A Brief Introduction to the Fat-Tailed Gerbil

  1. The fat-tailed gerbil has the scientific name pachyuromys duprasi
    2. It is a rodent found in the subfamily gerbillinae
    3. It is the only member of the genus pachyuromys.
    4. They are also called the duprasi gerbil, fat-tailed jird, fat-tailed rat, and beer mat gerbil,
    5. They a new pet type of gerbil on the pet market.
    6. Fat-tailed gerbils have fluffy short fur.
    7. They were discovered by the zoologist Fernand Lataste in 1880.
    8. They have a body length that measures about 10cm with a tail of 5cm
    9. They weigh about 40 grams
    10. They have a thick soft and fluffy coat

A Brief Introduction to the Pouched Gerbil

1.the Pouched gerbil is a species of rodent that is found the family Muridae

2. Its scientific name is desmodilliscus braueri

3. It is listed as a species of least concern

4. It is found in the countries of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Sudan.

5. As a species, it has a large distribution which is why it is listed as a species of least concern.

6. It is thought to be the smallest of the species in the family Muridae.

7. It weighs between 6-14 grams and is an extremely small gerbil.

8.it has a length of between 4-8cm

9. It was discovered by the zoologist Otto von Wettstein in 1916.

10. They enjoy living in scrub savannahas where there is sparse vegetation and hardened soils.

11. They usually give birth to 2-7 young pups.

12. Their hair is blackish-grey at the base with a sandy tip

13. Their head is relatively large and they have short ears, big eyes and white cheeks

14. They have slender hind feet with naked soles

15. They have forefeet that have a short covering of white hair

A Brief Introduction to the Ammodile Gerbil

1. The ammodile gerbil is also called the wall or Somali gerbil.

2. It’s scientific name is ammodilus imbellis

3. It is a species of rodent found in the family Muridae

4. It is the only species in the genus Ammodillus

5. It is found in the countries of Ethiopia and Somalia

6. It enjoys living in tropical and subtropical dry lowland grassland.

7. it is a threatened species

8. it was discovered as a species by the British zoologust Michael Rogers Oldfield Thomas in 1904.

9. It is an uncommon species

10. Its habitat is threatened by severe overgrazing by cattle, sheep and domestic goats

11. It is a small gerbil that has a long tail that ends in a brown pencil which is darker above and paler below.

12. It has grey hairs at its base with a reddish fawn terminal band and black tip.

13. They are said to be very rare and are only known from a few specimens in a few localities.

14. They are recorded as data deficient

References

Mammals of Africa, Volumes 1-6, By Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Thomas Butynski, Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina

How do gerbils take care of their young?

Gerbils are born helpless, blind and hairless and so need the care and attention of their mother from the moment she gives birth to them.

The mother will create a nest for her young pups and then line it with fur from her belly to keep them warm.

A newborn baby pup will instinctively find their way underneath their mother’s warm belly where they will find her nipples that provide them with the nourishing milk that they need.

When a mother is nursing her pups, it is important that the family is not disturbed in any way because any disturbances will distress a nursing mother.

If she is greatly distressed, she may even engage in cannibalistic behavior with some of her young. It has been known before. This will be because of a deficiency in animal protein in her diet.

The pups will be hairless and so will need the continued warmth of the mother for the first few weeks of their lives until hair starts to grow.

Whenever the female leaves the nest, the male may intervene and snuggle up to the young to provide the warmth that they need.

The mother may also provide them with sufficient nesting material to keep them warm without the need of having a parent there in the nest.

When they are born, pups are without hair and will have their eyes closed.

Do not attempt to touch them during this time as they are incredibly sensitive.

Then after about four days, their hair begins to grow and will develop over their body.

It will grow more densely as time goes on.

During the earlier days of their lives, it is easier to determine their sex as there is less fur on their body covering up nipples.

Their eyes will begin to open after about three weeks.

They will then start to explore their surroundings away from the nest.

The mother will keep a close eye on them and bring them back if they happen to stray too far.

They will then start to look for their own food and seek out water themselves.

It is then that they start to gain their first semblance of independence.

It is important to remember that young gerbils become sexually mature at around four months old and so if they are around each other at this age, you may be getting more baby gerbils than you bargained for.

So before they reach this age they need to be separated out, males with males and females with females.

 

References:

Arkive

 

how to catch a gerbl

How to catch a gerbil

When it comes to letting a gerbil run in your house, it is up to you how long that they have to run each day.

A gerbil will need at least half an hour each time that they go for a run and will need to do this at least three times a week.

However, once they have had a good run out, they will have to return to their cage.

Getting them back to their cage is no easy thing!

This is especially the case if they have escaped from you and don’t have any familiarity with the surroundings they have escaped into.

So if they have done, this how do you catch the gerbil and return them to the cage?

How to catch a gerbil

Here is one way to catch a gerbil and get it back to its cage.

Put the cage were the gerbil will easily return to it on their own and without your assistance.

Then gently nudge them toward the cage.

However, if they are not moving and inspired by your prompting, get their attention by thumping or scratching the floor.

This will usually do the trick of getting their attention.

Then take a cardboard tube, such as a kitchen tissue roll holder and then let them climb into the cardboard tube which you are holding.

Then when they are within the tube, seal both ends up with your hands and take it to the cage and then release the gerbil back into the cage.

Do not try and chase a gerbil or suddenly grab an animal from above.

If you swoop down with your hands from above, it may frighten them.

As a result, you lose any trust that you have established with you gerbil immediately and from now on your hands will frighten them.

Never try and grab, pull or lift them by the tip of their tail.

If they are hiding under furniture, be patient and wait until they come out on their own and be ready with the cardboard tube.

Don’t try and venture underneath the furniture or they will be intimidated and make a run for it.

If you really need to as nothing else has worked, try and nudge them out with a broomstick and then block their escape.

If they disappear over and over then remember to block places before you give them opportunities to run.

By doing this, you improve the prospects of catching them.

How do gerbils mark their territory?

Gerbils have an unusual way to mark their territory.

Other animals have different ways that they might do this to their surroundings.

Gerbils have a scent gland which they rub against surfaces which marks their territory. The scent gland is located on their stomach which they will then rub on the surroundings of their territory so as to mark it out.

When they enter a new cage it will be unfamiliar to them. It will also smell of something that is totally different to what they are used to.

If this is the case they need to establish the new cage as their home.

They way they do this is through scent.

Their scent is very important to gerbils as it allows them to differentiate space and territory.

It allows them to tell who is a friend and who is an enemy.

If they sense a gerbil who has an unfamiliar scent, they immediately become distrustful of them and they become an enemy to them.

This is the same with location.

An unfamiliar scent of a location will ward another gerbil off and tell them that they are not welcome there

The scent gland is a hairless oval patch located on the underside of an adult gerbil.

It is a slightly darker color than their skin and runs along the midline of the body.

It is easy to spot and regularly check on when you are handling a gerbil.

The scent gland can easily get scratched or roughed up so it needs checking regularly.

Checking the scent gland regularly should be a regular part of an owner’s regular checks on their gerbil, as scent gland tumors can develop if they are left.

Male gerbils use their scent gland much more than females do especially if they are in a large group.