Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to Muridae: Muroidea, Myomorpha


(vertebrate zoology)
A large diverse family of relatively small cosmopolitan rodents; distinguished from closely related forms by the absence of cheek pouches.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a family of mammals of the order Rodentia. The body length is 5 to 50 cm, and the tail length, up to 45 cm. The family comprises two subfamilies: Murinae and Hydromyinae (Australasian water rats). Some zoologists distinguish five or more subfamilies. There are 80 living genera and 12 extinct ones with more than 400 species. The Muridae are distributed throughout the world, with most species inhabiting tropical and subtropical forests. They were introduced into North and South America and into many islands. In the USSR there are 11 species belonging to five genera.

Most murids are crepuscular and nocturnal. They lead a semi-terrestrial mode of existence, feeding on seeds; some feed on other small animals. The house mouse (Mus musculus) and certain species of the genus Rattus live commensally with man. Out of doors, murids reproduce during the warm season only; in human dwellings, they reproduce throughout the year. They become sexually mature anywhere from 1.5 to three months of age.

Murids are both hosts to a large number of parasites and carriers of many diseases, including dangerous infections that affect humans and domestic animals. Murids are a threat to the grain, food, and forestry industries. The most harm is done by species of the genera Mus (for example, the house mouse) and Apodemus and by rats. Murids are controlled by mechanical, chemical, and bacteriological means.


Argiropulo, A. I. Semeistvo Muridae—Myshi. (Fauna SSSR, vol. 3, fasc. 5.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Misonne, X. “African and Indo-Australian Muridae, Evolutionary Trends.” Annales du Musée Royal de L ’Afrique Centrale, 1969, series 8, no. 172.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A new species of phyllotine rodent, genus Andalgalomys (Muridae: Sigmodontinae) from Argentina.
A new species of the Puna mouse, genus Punomys Osgood, 1943 (Muridae, Sigmodontinae) from the Southeastern Andes of Peru.
Systematic studies of oryzomyine rodents (Muridae, Sigmodontinae): A synopsis of Microryzomys.
Analysis of cytochrome-b nucleotide diversity confirms a recent range expansion in Calomys musculinus (Rodentia, Muridae).
Comments on the systematics of Mastomys Thomas 1915 with a description of a new west African species (Mammalia: Rodentia: Muridae).
Factors effecting home range size and overlap in Akodon azarae (Muridae: Sigmodontinae) in natural pasture of Argentina.
La especie ha sido citada en Sudamerica para Argentina, Brasil, Chile y Peru (Johnson 1957) principalmente en aves de las familias Psittacidae, Hirundinidae, Muscicapidae, Strigidae y Columbidae y, ocasionalmente, en marsupiales Didelphidae y roedores Caviidae y Muridae (Autino y Lareschi 1998).
A review of the spiny mouse genus Scolomys (Rodentia, Muridae, Sigmodontinae) with the description of a new species from the western Amazon of Brazil.
Molecular systematics of the genus Sigmodon (Rodentia: Muridae): evidence from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene.
A New Species of Oryzomys (Rodentia: Muridae) from Eastern Bolivia.