Sicista

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Sicista

 

(birch mice), a genus of mammals of the family Diposidae of the order Rodentia. They resemble mice. The body length is up to 8 cm; the naked tail is longer than the body. Of the genus’s ten species, six are found in the USSR. Birch mice inhabit plain and mountain forests and open terrains of temperate and subtropical zones in Europe and Asia. They are active at twilight and feed on insects and seeds. The mice produce one litter a year. They hibernate in the winter. The best-known species are Sicista betulina and S. subtilis.