Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Little Dudes: Euchoreutes naso -- Long-eared Jerboa

This little dude was filmed for the first time recently by a team working in the Gobi Desert. This BBC news article has a nice writeup as well as a number of short videos showing these guys hopping around. It's outlandishly cute, so be warned. Shout out to my two secret BBC sources for simultaneously tipping me off to this article within an hour of each other.

The animal looks to be in many ways similar to the Kangaroo Rat of North America (Dipodomys californicus, for example) to which it is a close relation. They both have this outrageously long tail, which begs questions about its function. Since they both move primarily by hopping, maybe it relates to that.

The ears remind me of another North American desert mammal, the Kit Fox. But the Fennec Fox of Africa has an even closer ear/body ratio as the Jerboas in the BBC article. Many desert animals use big ears as radiators to cool off their blood, and others because the desert lends itself to nocturnal behavior and ears are a huge asset there.

Have decided to make the "little dudes" an official label and post type on the blog, so look for them in the future.

Enjoy the earth's esoteric taxonomies,



matt_stansberry said...

Man those guys are cute -- and I'd love to see the Gobi. Crazy animals and landscape out there.

Tony said...

You really need to stop pointing the camera down your pants! Some day, I'm going to contribute something thoughtful, but not today.

OregonWild said...

I think its pretty cool this little fella is getting so much press attention.

Have you ever seen a pinyon mouse? The northern limit of this small mouse's range is Central oregon. Cute, long ears. Not as cute as Jerboa, but cute.

Hey - maybe i should blog about it!


Bpaul said...

OW, thanks for stopping by, I dig the photos you took of our little guy, I'll comment over there too.

Tony, I'll hold my breath. hehe.

Matt, you got out and wet a line this week, you suck. LOL.