The Grasshopper Mouse
The grasshopper mouse, also known as the scorpion mouse, is a ferocious hunter. Leaving its hole in the ground when the sun set, grasshopper mice have soft padded feet and hunt with their nose to the ground. Like the rabbit, it gets excited when on a fresh trail, uttering a series of sharp squeaks or barks. Nothing can hinder the grasshopper mouse once it has scented the victim, and it follows the trail at a fast pace. It’s deadly black eyes sparkle as it comes within striking distance of its game. With a mighty rush, the sturdy little hunter is at its victims throat. The long, sharp teeth sink into the brain, and then all was quiet once more. In addition to these talents as a hunter, the grasshopper mouse is a patient hunter. Sometimes it attacks the pocket mouse carrying a load of grain, by leaping from an ambush where it has been lying in wait. Like most creatures of prey, the grasshopper mouse lives a hand-to-mouth existence. When fortune smiles, it feasts royally, but on unlucky nights it starves. It eats half of its own weight once a day keep for weeks of the opportunity offers such bounty.
As fearsome as it is to its enemies, this mouse is useful to man. The insects and rodents it destroys means considerable savings in arsenic. Only 1/10 of its food is vegetation, seeds, and grasses. The grasshopper mouse has many enemies in nature. And although it will go underground, it never goes out hunting before dark. Moreover, it is a very able digger. Not only does it sometimes excavate a nest, or has a great sense of smell, or can find an insect hibernating below the surface, it can jump to high places as well. In captivity, grasshopper mice show a different side of their character. They are gentle and quite friendly to each other. However, they will protest when they are handled, showing the resentment. Life starts slowly for the grasshopper mouse, but the tempo increases in a short period of time. The first kin come in about April or May. There are four or five babies in the family, and they weigh only about 1/10 of an ounce each at birth. They do not open their eyes before they are two weeks old. However they are out feeding themselves in another 10 days.
The grasshopper mouse is the sturdy, medium-size mouse with a comparatively short tail. But although the top of its head is hard, but the rest is soft and silky and white. This mouse can be found in North America, British Columbia, and northern Mexico. Grasshopper mice have been known to have great and longer tails in the southern hemisphere. The grasshopper mouse does not hibernate even in the coldest parts of its territory. It’s body and tail usually become especially fat plump in the fall and it does make some effort store up food for winter use. When the weather is exceptionally cool, they stay home for a week or more and draw sustenance and energy from stored up fat and laid up seeds.
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