African Pygmy Mice

Mus minutoides

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African Pygmy Mouse

African Pygmy Mice are one of the smallest rodents and mammals in the world. Their tiny size can only really be appreciated first-hand. Adult African Pygmy Mice are only around 3-8cm long, 2-4cm of which is their tail. They typically weigh from 3-12g with a pale belly and a red coat colour although a blue variant does exist. Babies are born grey and change colour as they grow.

They live around 2 years, although in captivity upto 4 years has been recorded. They live in colonies in the wild and so must be kept with company. They have several unique traits that make them a very interesting pet to own.

Although they are nocturnal, in a comfortable environment they can be observed at odd moments during the day. My colonies have favoured the late evening, and although they can be startled by sudden movement they do not seem alarmed by sounds.

Due to their tiny stature and speed, they are not a species that can be handled as it would be far too easy to damage them accidentally. Care must be taken as a startled African Pygmy Mouse can jump around 18 inches. They are very swift and agile climbers and due to their fast metabolism do consume a lot of food and water for their size.

One interesting characteristic of the African Pygmy Mouse is that unlike most mammals, it is the X chromosome that determines its sex, not the Y.

African Pygmy Mice make fascinating, low maintenance pets to watch although they cannot be handled. Keeping African Pygmy Mice as a pet is fairly simple although the initial cost of their tank and equipment may be high.

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