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Temporal range: Middle Miocene – Recent
|Zapus hudsonius preblei|
Although mouse-like in general appearance, these rodents are distinguished by their elongated hind limbs, and, typically, by the presence of four pairs of cheek-teeth in each jaw. There are five toes to all the feet, but the first in the fore-feet is rudimentary, and furnished with a flat nail. The tail makes up for 60% of its body length and is used to gain balance while bounding. The cheeks have pouches. The Sichuan jumping "yeti" mouse (Eozapus setchuanus) from China can be identified by the ‘Y’ marking on its belly.
Jumping mice live in wooded areas, grassy fields and alpine meadows. When disturbed, they start, in enormous bounds of eight or ten feet in length, which soon diminish to three or four; and in leaping the feet scarcely seem to touch the ground. They are nocturnal and generally live alone. The nest is placed in clefts of rocks, among timber or in hollow trees, and there are generally three litters in a season.
Subfamily Zapodinae, jumping mice
- Hopping mouse - a murid rodent native to Australia
- Jerboa - a related desert-dwelling dipodid rodent native to northern Africa and Asia
- Kangaroo mouse and kangaroo rat - heteromyid rodents of North America
- Kultarr - an unrelated marsupial with a similar body plan and coloration; an example of convergence
- Springhare - a pedetid rodent native to southern and eastern Africa
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