House Mouse
Mus musculus
Family Muridae

* Fur short, grayish-brown, belly gray or buff-colored.
* Tail scaly, 2 4/5-3 2/5".
* Head and body length: 3-3 2/5".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Meadows and particularly buildings. Builds nests in walls or on the ground.
* Range: Wherever people are found.
* Behavior: House mice eat anything, from wood to seeds to human food, and they breed several times a year.
* Lifespan: 1-2 years.
* Introduced from Europe with the first settlers.

* Frequent inbreeding in the constantly growing house mouse population has resulted in some odd traits. Many house mice are deaf, and others exhibit a strange 'waltzing' behavior, which involves twisting, prancing, or pivoting on one foot. Some sing like crickets, and have been made into pets.

* House mice can run up to 8 miles an hour. Whiskers and guard hairs on their faces can detect motion and changes in light intensity.

* Would there be house mice without humans and their houses? It's hard to say, but the species has been immortalized in films, cartoons, and art, signifying its somewhat annoying importance in our lives. Just imagine...would Walt Disney's Cinderella have gotten to the ball without the devotion of her singing mice? Would Tom the cat be as funny without Jerry the mouse? Speedy Gonzales and his compadres would never grace our TV screens, and "The Night Before Christmas" just wouldn't be the same - "Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a -----." House mice have caused us centuries of worry, joy, annoyance, and entertainment.

* "Not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house:
I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust behind the door."
-William Shakespeare, 1564-1616

Approved by NR


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005