gerbil


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gerbil

(jûr`bĭl), small desert rodentrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
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 found throughout the hot arid regions of Africa and Asia. Also known as sand rats, gerbils have large eyes and powerful, elongated hind limbs upon which they can spring. Gerbils are 3 to 5 in. (7.6–12.7 cm) long, excluding the long tufted tail, and are sandy, gray, brown, or reddish in color with white underparts. Most species are nocturnal, and all live in burrows. Their diet consists of seeds and grains; they also eat desert plants, from which they obtain almost all the water they need. With the exception of a few species, gerbils tend to hoard food. In recent years gerbils have become popular as house pets. They are odorless, easy to raise, and usually gentle. Females may bear as many as 15 litters in a lifetime; each litter may contain up to 10 young. Gerbils are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Cricetidae.

gerbil

[′jər·bəl]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for about 100 species of African and Asian rodents composing the subfamily Gerbillinae.

gerbil

, gerbille
any burrowing rodent of the subfamily Gerbillinae, inhabiting hot dry regions of Asia and Africa and having soft pale fur: family Cricetidae
References in periodicals archive ?
We even have a self-proclaimed gerbil expert (they use the term wrangler) called Malcolm who we employed to look after the gerbils during filming.
It is now hoped that the little creatures can be rehomed in small groups as Bev explains that gerbils like company.
Rabbits scratch, hamsters bite and gerbils get eaten by cats.
RSPCA Inspector Mick Garrity added: 'There were containers and gerbils absolutely everywhere.
The coffin was later paraded through the streets in a glass-sided horse-drawn carriage before Gerbil was buried at Langfaulds Cemetery in Bearsden.
Never keep a gerbil on its own as they need to live in groups of at least two.
Let's hope for Brad and the rat pack's sake that Angelina's a gerbil fan.
Inside the bedroom she requested the defendant open the wardrobe, and two hamster cages were on top of each other with a hamster and a gerbil inside.
I put the thing in a used coffee cup, handed it to the 'trolley dolly', who was clearing tables, and asked politely: "My gerbil seems to have died.
The gifted gerbil is gnawing its way through bits of the book and when Sally goes to clean up the cage, she takes out the ripped paper to turn it into artwork.
We hope the findings will encourage local public health officials to monitor the occupancy levels in the burrows of gerbil populations, which is inexpensive, and limit expensive bacteriological testing of gerbils to periods when the predicted risk of plague outbreak is elevated.
RSPCA inspectors were yesterday investigating a report that a group of men tied a gerbil to a firework and blew the animal up.