Short Tailed Gerbil
wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: The short-tailed gerbil (Desmodillus auricularis) is a short, stocky creature with small oval ears and an 'untuffed tail', hence the name. It is nocturnal, terrestrial and a social species that burrows nearby to its neighbours by a series of pathways that lead to individual burrow networks. Food is carried back to the confines of the burrow to be eaten or stored.
As with most other rodents, the short-tailed gerbil can survive independently of surface water, maintained by a diet of air-dried seeds and a natural ability to maintain body temperature of 36ºC even when its habitat temperatures may range from 34ºC and -5ºC.
Distribution: Widespread throughout Namibia less for the north-eastern regions.
Diet: Seeds of grasses and annuals, pips of melons, insects including locusts.
Colouring: Brownish-buff to grey-brown to reddish-brown body with white ventral surfaces.
Breeding: Average litter sizes of 4 are produced after a gestation period of 21 days. The young are carried around in the mother's mouth.
Size: 180mm in overall length: Weight: 50-55g.
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large hotel complex on the outskirts of town - near the Eros Airport
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