/jeuhr boh"euh, jer-/, n.
any of various mouselike rodents of North Africa and Asia, as of the genera Jaculus and Dipus, with long hind legs used for jumping.
[1655-65; < NL < Ar yarbu'; see GERBIL]

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      any of 33 species of long-tailed leaping rodents (rodent) well adapted to the deserts and steppes of eastern Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Jerboas are mouselike, with bodies ranging from 5 to 15 cm (2 to 5.9 inches) in length and long tails of 7 to 25 cm. Certain traits are highly variable between species, particularly the size of the ears, which range from small and round to slender and rabbitlike or remarkably large and broad. Hind toes number from three to five, but all species have short forelegs and extremely long hind legs. The tail is often tufted. Jerboas' dense fur is either silky or velvety in texture and light in colour, usually matching the ground of the animal's habitat.

Natural history
      Jerboas leap up to 3 metres (10 feet) at a bound when alarmed or traveling swiftly, but when moving slowly they walk on their hind legs and sometimes hop by using all four limbs. The long tail props up the animal when it stands and is used for balance when it springs away. By day jerboas rest in burrows; they emerge at night to forage for seeds, succulent parts of plants, and insects. Some species plug their burrow entrances with soil to retain moisture and keep hot air out. Most are dormant during winter. Although jerboas drink water in captivity, in natural habitats they obtain it from food.

Classification and paleontology
      The 33 jerboa species are taxonomically diverse, with members belonging to five different subfamilies within the family Dipodidae, which also includes birch mice (birch mouse) and jumping mice (jumping mouse). Fossil evidence dates the jerboas' evolutionary history back to the Middle Miocene Epoch (16.4 million to 11.2 million years ago) in North Africa and Asia.

Subfamily Allactaginae
 15 species in 3 genera.
      Genus Allactaga (four- and five-toed jerboas)
 11 species.

      Genus Pygeretmus (fat-tailed jerboas)
 3 species.

      Genus Allactodipus
 1 species.

Subfamily Dipodinae
 9 species in 4 genera.
      Genus Jaculus (desert jerboas)
 4 species.

      Genus Stylodipus (thick-tailed three-toed jerboas)
 3 species.

      Genus Dipus (feather-footed jerboa)
 1 species.

      Genus Eremodipus
 1 species.

Subfamily Cardiocraniinae
 7 species in 2 genera.
      Genus Salpingotus (three-toed dwarf jerboas)
 6 species.

      Genus Cardiocranius (five-toed dwarf jerboa)
 1 species.

Subfamily Euchoreutinae
      Genus Euchoreutes (long-eared jerboa)
 1 species.

Subfamily Paradipodinae
      Genus Paradipus (comb-toed jerboa)
 1 species.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Jerboa — Jer*bo a, n. [Ar. yarb[=u] .] (Zo[ o]l.) Any small jumping rodent of the genus {Dipus}, esp. {Dipus [AE]gyptius}, which is common in Egypt and the adjacent countries. The jerboas have very long hind legs and a long tail. [Written also {gerboa}.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • jerboa — jerboá s. m. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  JERBOÁ s. m. mamifer rozător, având labele picioarelor lungi, cu trei degete, care sare şi sapă galerii. (< lat. gerboa) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Jerboa — Jerboa, so v.w. Gerboa …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Jerboa — Jerboa, s. Springmäuse …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • jerboa — (n.) small desert rodent, 1660s, Modern Latin, from Arabic jarbu flesh of the loins, also the name of a small jumping rodent of North Africa. Cf. GERBIL (Cf. gerbil) …   Etymology dictionary

  • jerboa — ► NOUN ▪ a desert dwelling rodent with very long hind legs found from North Africa to central Asia. ORIGIN Latin, from Arabic …   English terms dictionary

  • jerboa — [jər bō′ə] n. [Ar yarbūʼ] any of a family (Dipodidae) of small, nocturnal, leaping rodents of N Africa and Asia, with very long hind legs …   English World dictionary

  • Jerboa — Taxobox name = Jerboa fossil range = Middle Miocene Recent image width = 200px image caption = Jaculus jaculus regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia ordo = Rodentia superfamilia = Dipodoidea familia = Dipodidae familia authority …   Wikipedia

  • jerboa — /dʒɜˈboʊə / (say jer bohuh) noun 1. a small carnivorous marsupial Antechinomys laniger, which inhabits the central desert of Australia and resembles the jerboa (def. 2), although it does not hop; kultarr. 2. any of various mouse like rodents of… …  

  • jerboa — urvinis šokliukas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Alactagulus pygmaeus angl. jerboa; lesser five toed jerboa; little earth hare vok. Erdhase; Zwergpferdespringer; Zwergspringer rus. земляной зайчик;… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

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