Meet the house mouse, a mammal that is not only a pest but also a model organism. Did you know that male mice can produce ultrasound whistles, by which they react to female pheromones?
|Mus musculus from EoL, image is under CC BY-SA.|
Mice are small rodents, active primarily at night. They have very sensitive hearing, sense of smell and sight. They eat almost everything they come across, food scraps, various insects, grain and even soap. Mice are found in nature as well as human dwellings, and move often. Besides the damage to food stocks, mice are unpleasant in that they leave their urine and droppings everywhere. They are also dangerous carriers of disease and parasites.
Listen mice sounds at Europeana, these items are under CC BY-NC-ND of Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
Mice build nests under floors or in attics, and line them with paper, rags, leaves and similar materials. They breed very quickly; females can have up to twelve young, five to ten times per year. Gestation is approximately 20 days. The young are ready to leave the nest in another 20 days, and become sexually mature within their first year. In captivity they can live up to four years. They have many natural predators, like carnivores, snakes and birds.
|Mus musculus from BHL.|
Meet more animals which live in human dwellings at Biodiversity Library Exhibition topic called "Nature at your home". Stay tuned!