Scientific name: Mus Musculus, Peromyscus maniculatus
Family: Muridae for the house mouse; Cricetidae, for the deer mouse
House mice have a relatively short life span of 1-2 years, but their wild cousins – deer mice – are far hardier. Living to 8 years old in captivity is magnificent by mouse standards! However, risks posed by predators dramatically reduce the average lifespan outside protected environments to just one year.
Quebec is home to a wide variety of rodents, but if you’re looking for one that may take up residence in your house then there two you should keep an eye out for:
- Deer mouse
- House mouse.
Mice reproduce at an astonishing rate! With sexual maturity occurring as early as 5-6 weeks and gestation time varying from 18 to 30 days, depending on the species of mouse, it’s no wonder that litter sizes can range up to a whopping eighteen rodents. The exception is for deer mice during winter months – these critters take slightly longer to reach full reproductive capability than their house counterparts.
Mice are omnivorous and feed on:
- Seeds; Fruits
North America is home to a diverse range of mice, who are able to thrive in climates ranging from arid desert heat to the chilliest mountain peaks. However, they seem especially drawn towards grasslands and woodlands – cozy spots where their tiny claws can dig deep into rich soil.
Why do mice squeak?
Mice are surprisingly social creatures and possess an extensive range of communication methods. From special “bridal songs” to mysterious ultrasonic squeaks which remain beyond the scope of human hearing, these small furballs certainly have a lot to say amongst themselves.
Do mice hibernate?
Despite the cold weather, mice remain as pragmatic and determined creatures in winter – scurrying around to find food and a safe place for shelter away from predators.
Do the teeth of mice grow continuously?
The amazing fact is that mice, being rodents, possess teeth – their incisors in particular- which don’t stop growing for the entirety of their lives.
Do mice like cheese?
Despite widespread belief, cheese does not constitute a staple component of the mouse diet. Surprisingly enough, mice have managed to thrive for generations without this seemingly irresistible snack – even though it wasn’t around when their eating habits were established.
Why are mice used in research?
The house mouse is a remarkably useful creature in the lab setting, due to its genetic similarity with humans and effortless upkeep. Its short life/reproduction cycle means that experiments can be quickly repeated for more accurate results.
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