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Did You Know There’s a Mouse that Howls at the Moon?

Deep in the deserts of the American Southwest lives a mouse with the heart of a wolf. The Chihuahuan Grasshopper Mouse is small, averaging between 3.5 to 5 inches in length, but it is fierce.

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This carnivorous rodent eats a diet of insects, smaller rodents and even snakes. It specializes in venomous insects like scorpions and centipedes, which it kills with swift bites that render them paralyzed before going in for the kill. Grasshopper Mice are immune to many venoms and poisons, including the sting of the deadly Arizona Bark Scorpion.

These mice are also highly territorial. Whereas many rodents live in large colonies, grasshopper mice live alone or with a mate of the opposite sex. They maintain large hunting territories, averaging about 28 acres, and defend them fiercely. In captivity, they are known to kill and eat one another if kept in close proximity.

Perhaps most surprising of all is the cry of the Grasshopper Mouse. In order to stake claim of their large territories and assert their dominance over would-be intruders, the mice howl. They are known to howl just before making a kill as well.

When they howl, Grasshopper Mice rise up to their hind legs and throw back their heads, releasing a shrill whistling cry. If you’re ever in the Chihuahuan desert on a quiet, moonlit evening, listen closely: You might just hear the sonorous cry of the Grasshopper Mouse.

 

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