Tamarisk jird

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The tamarisk jird (Meriones tamariscinus) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It prefers habitats with grass or shrub cover.[1]

Tamarisk jird
Meriones tamariscinus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Meriones
M. tamariscinus
Binomial name
Meriones tamariscinus
(Pallas, 1773)[1]

Mus tamariscinus Pallas, 1773

Tamarisk jirds are relatively large in size (an adult can weigh 100 - 140 g). They are poorly adapted for digestion of cellulose and mainly feed on plant sources such as young leaves, and require large amounts of water.[2]

The tamarisk jird is a nocturnal animal and is also a strictly solitary animal. Males usually occupy larger home ranges compared to females, and interactions between individuals are very rare. Tamarisk jirds breed between March to October, usually producing 2 - 3 litters. Young jirds first emerge from their burrows between May to June, and they quickly disperse, rarely interacting with their siblings and mother. Tamarisk jirds reach sexual maturity at 70 days, but young males do not mate in their first year of age. For young females, less than half have been observed to breed in their first year of age, and this delay has been proposed to be associated with their delay in migration from their birth site.[3]


  • Musser, G.G.; Carleton, M.D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1238. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  1. ^ a b c Tsytsulina, K.; Formozov, N. & Sheftel, B. (2016). "Meriones tamariscinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T13169A115110536. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T13169A22432783.en.{{cite iucn}}: error: |doi= / |page= mismatch (help)
  2. ^ Kuznetsova, T. A.; Kostina, N. V.; Naumova, E. I.; Umarov, M. M. (2010). "Microbial nitrogen fixation in the gastro-intestinal tract of Kalmykia gerbils (M. tamariscinus and Meriones meridianus)". Biology Bulletin. 37 (5): 476–479. doi:10.1134/S1062359010050067.
  3. ^ Tchabovsky, A.; Bazykin, G. (2004). "Females delay dispersal and breeding in a solitary gerbil, Meriones tamariscinus". Journal of Mammalogy. 85 (1): 105–112. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2004)085<0105:FDDABI>2.0.CO;2.