Western Jumping Mouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Western Jumping Mouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Western Jumping Mouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Western Jumping Mouse - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image 
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Western Jumping Mouse
Zapus princeps

Mice, Voles & Rats
Jumping Mouse Family (Zapodidae)

Measurement: Size: 25 cm Weight: 18 g (0.64 oz)

Description: Like a tiny kangaroo, the western jumping mouse uses large rear legs and a long tail (twice the length of the body) to jump across the ground in rapid kangaroo-like leaps. They can leap as much as 3 m horizontally and 60 cm high. Usually the hops are shorter. They leap with the rear legs, landing on their much smaller front legs. This allows the rear legs to move into position for the next jump. This is in many ways similar to the hopping of snowshoe hares. Their general colouration is brown above, buff on the sides and white beneath. They feed on a variety of seeds, fruits, fungi and insects. They prefer wet locales, marshes, river banks and moist meadows. They are also excellent swimmers. To confuse predators they will use their jumping ability to make a long leap, and then freeze. It's almost as if they had the ability to simply vanish. Unlike the deer mouse, they hibernate during winter, relying on fat stores from the summer to survive until spring. Also unlike most of our other mice, they produce only one litter per year.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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