flat-tailed gerbil facts

50 Flat-Tailed Gerbil Facts

Here are 50 flat-tailed gerbil facts to help you discover more about them. Flat-tailed gerbils are a new species of gerbil on the pet market but are found in various countries around the world.

50 flat-tailed gerbil facts

  1. Their scientific name is Pachyuromys duprasi.
  2. They belong to the rodent order and the subfamily Gerbillinae.
  3. Of all the species of gerbil, they are know for being the most docile.
  4. They are also called the duprasi gerbil, fat-tailed jird, fat-tailed rat, or beer mat gerbil
  5. They have fur which is thick, soft and fluffy
  6. They have a body length of around 10cm and their tail measures around 5cm.
  7. They weigh about 40 grams
  8. They have hair at the back at their head which is colored yellow. It has a base that is dark grey and is tipped with black.
  9. Their belly is white colored
  10. They do not have a neck as such.
  11. They have short legs compared to other types of gerbil.
  12. The reason their tail is so fat is that they store fat and water in it.
  13. Fat-tailed gerbils normally live between five and eight years when they are kept as pets.
  14. In the wild they usually live between two and four years.
  15. Their natural habitat is the Northern Sahara desert in Northern Africa between the countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Lybia and Algeria.
  16. They live in rocky deserts, sparsely vegetated sand sheets.
  17. They build their homes by digging burrows which measure about one meter deep. They look for soil that is hard and sandy to do this.
  18. This means that when they are kept as pets, they always need a thick layer of bedding so that they can dig tunnels and burrows in their home.
  19. They also reside in abandoned burrows which have been dug by other species.
  20. They were first discovered by french zoologist Fenand Lataste in 1880 in Laghouat in Algeria. He described the details in detail in the periodical Le naturaliste.
  21. They reach sexual maturity at two months old.
  22. They will reproduce throughout the year and not just in a particular season.
  23. The gestation period of a flat-tailed gerbil is nineteen days.
  24. When they are born a litter of flat-tailed gerbils will number between three and six young pups.
  25. Young flat-tailed gerbils take between three and four weeks to be fully weened.
  26. When they are pregnant or they are nursing thier young pups, female flat-tailed gerbils are known for being very aggressive to the point where they will even kill the male father if they are housed in the same location. This is why they need to be separated once they have mated.
  27. They have an unusual mating ritual which consists of the male and female standing on their hind legs, wrestling and making squeaking noises. If the male does not give up and will breed with the female once she lets him.
  28. They are insectivores which means that they enjoy eating insects as their natural food source. However, they will eat plants as a secondary food source.
  29. They particularly enjoy insects such as mealworms, moths and crickets.
  30. They do not deal well with foods that have a high water content as they are just not used to eating them in the wild saharan deserts. This means that if they have food that has too much water content such as some fruit and vegetables, then they could get diarrhea.
  31. They do not drink much water as again, they are just not used to doing this in their natural environment and so draw moisture out of the foods that they eat to sustain their bodies.
  32. Like other rodents, the teeth of the flat-tailed gerbil are constantly growing. This means that they must always find items to chew on so as to grind their teeth on and keep them from growing to long.
  33. Pet Flat-tailed gerbils are best kept in aquarium tanks that should measure around 60cm by 40cm for a capacity of between two and four gerbils.
  34. Instead of water baths to keep themselves clean, fat-tailed gerbils are rigorous self-cleaners and will clean themselves with their tongue, paws and teeth.
  35. They also enjoy taking sand baths to rid themselves of grease from their fur.
  36. They are not as curious as Mongolian gerbils and tend to be more relaxed creatures.
  37. They have lots of energy and need to exercise a lot. This is why they need an exercise wheel in their home.
  38. They have scent glands on their stomach’s which they use to rub up against objects to mark their territory. They do this to leave their scent in locations they wish to mark as their own.
  39. The scent markings of a gerbil are not discernible to a human, but are smelt strongly by another fat-tailed gerbil.
  40. A male and female flat-tailed gerbil can be identified by the distance between the urinary and anal openings. Males have their scrotum at the base of their tail which will appear as a large bulge, this will obviously not appear on a female.
  41. A female will have bald spots appear on her belly from around two weeks which will be her nipples.
  42. Fat-tailed gerbils are new types of pet gerbil and not available in a lot of countries. They are not as common as Mongolian gerbils and are quite rare. However, this does make them only the second type of gerbil to be popularly used as a pet.
  43. You can tell that a fat-tailed gerbil is healthy as they will have bright eyes, a coat that is soft and is very lively.
  44. Fat-tailed gerbils do not like draughty conditions or places that have a lot of damp and moisture.
  45. Because of the prominence of the tail, it is vulnerable to attack from other flat-tailed gerbils and predators.
  46. If a flat-tailed gerbil catches a cold, this can be fatal for them. They do not deal with them well.
  47. They are diurnal creatures but have a sleep cycle that is made up of short patches of sleep interspersed by short patches of activity.
  48. They have been known to sleep on their backs with their feet pointing upwards.
  49. They are most active during dusk
  50. There have been reported cases of cannibalism where a mother will eat her young pups. This can be because of a number of reasons but it is mainly due to stress or trying to cull her litter to a more manageable number.

 

Sources

Iucnredlist

National Gerbil Society

Animal Diversity Web

Pachyuromys wikipedia