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 ?
"I know a jerboa is different from a gerbil but it was the last question," she said.
Actor Barnaby Edwards, who is known for being a dalek operator in Doctor Who, shared his disgust by tweeted: "Thrilling final of Mastermind as that massive ignoramus John Humphrys erroneously declares someone the winner because he doesn't know a gerbil is a different animal from a jerboa."
The force's Derby City Safer Neighbourhood team said: "The individual was refusing to give access to their address so that the RSPCA could prevent the gerbil from dying or suffering.
Upon further inspection, 24 gerbils were found packed into plastic bags and strapped onto her legs.
While carrying out routine inspections at Shuitou Port in Kinmen, Coast Guard officials, a woman surnamed Wu was spotted walking rather awkwardly and upon closer inspection, she was found to have strapped 24 gerbils to her legs.
<p class="textbox" dir="ltr">"A nutritionally balanced, fortified food should make up the majority of the daily diet for hamsters and gerbils. So it's important to carry high-quality options your customers can trust, including a uniform kibble," said Lucas Stock, communications manager for Omaha, Nebraska's Oxbow Animal Health (http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com), known for its Essentials and Garden Select brands of hamster and gerbil food.
This was so sad and it sickened me that someone just threw the gerbil in the skip to die, as though he was a piece of rubbish.
GERBILS | ACCEPTANCE | DIFFERENCES | SOCIAL NORMS | HUMOUR
The Record revealed last year that Paterson visited a member of the Lyons crime clan in prison the day after he killed Gerbil.
Little Gerbil cannot follow one of the all-important mottos of gerbil life: no matter how hard she tries, or how much she pretends, she cannot sleep curled nose to toes.