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Woodland Jumping Mouse Succumbs

8-13-13  woodland jumping mouse134Usually animals that have been killed don’t last long enough for humans to discover them unless the human disturbs the predator right after it’s killed its prey. This may well have been the case when I came upon this Woodland Jumping Mouse. It is actually fairly unusual to set eyes on a jumping mouse, dead or alive, as they are quite secretive. This remarkable one-ounce rodent has long hind feet and a distinctly long tail, which makes up more than half of its total length of eight to ten inches. Using its hind limbs for propulsion and its tail for balance, the Woodland Jumping Mouse is able to make large leaps of up to eight feet or more to escape danger. (More often it walks around on all fours, or uses short hops for greater speed.) Another survival strategy that jumping mice use is to remain motionless for up to several hours, relying on their coloration and cover for protection. Apparently neither adaptive behavior was effective enough to spare this mouse’s life.

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One response

  1. Arthur Skura

    I don’t think this mouse was killed by a predator. His hind limbs and sacral region show a reduced amount of muscle and the animal looks malnourished. I think the mouse succumbed from some chronic illness. It looks like it had recently died because I don’t see a lot of rigor mortis and putrefaction. The prey may not have had enough time to find it.

    August 14, 2013 at 12:20 am

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