Weird + Cute³ + Old Spice = ?

by Jennifer Frazer on June 10, 2009

Saw this over at Zooillogix and couldn’t resist.  I cannot believe Jim Henson did not design this creature. I also cannot get over the impression that somehow, this thing looks like a cranky old man with his pants hitched up too high.

According to wikipedia, jerboae are “jumping desert rodents” from North Africa and Asia.  Tasty and bite-sized desert rodents, too, I’d wager. Perfect for kebabs . . .

The jerboa, together with kangaroo rats of North America and hopping mice of Australia, are a great example of convergent evolution. This often happens when organisms from very different lineages evolve to fill similar niches, like whales and fish, or fungi and oomycetes (water molds — an oomycete, for example, caused the Irish Potato Famine).

Two mammal posts in one week! Never thought that would happen. I must be going soft.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary June 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm

That’s cute! Where can I get one…or more (I’d like some extras for grilling)?

Jennifer Frazer June 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I’m not sure that Whole Foods stocks them . . . it looks like your pygmy jerboa is native to Pakistan. So perhaps the Karachi bazaar? If they can jump as high as those legs imply, catching them yourself in the wild might prove . . . challenging. Lots of sproinging, etc. Like tiggers, their bottoms appear to be made of springs.

Captain Skellett June 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Wow, super cute (but could use a wash and blow dry). You can almost hear it say “What? Speak up whippersnapper! Hey, I wonder what my tail tastes like”

What is the deal with mice that hop? Is running just not good enough, or is it something Darwinian…

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