Dormouse Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Dormouse Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black, White, Gold, Tan
2 – 5 years
Top speed
8 mph
15g – 200kg (0.5oz – 7.1oz)
Dormouse Distribition

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” The dormouse invests a lot of the year separated in hibernation.”

A way of living of hibernation has actually become this animal’s most well- understood characteristic. As a matter of fact, throughout the globe, the animal is almost identified with drowsiness and procrastination. Yet the reverse is likewise real. After arising from its hibernation for the winter season, the dormouse is an energetic and extremely sports animal. These physical adjustments for rate and balancings aid the dormouse stay clear of predators and discover food.

3 Unbelievable Dormouse Truths

  • The dormouse is taken into consideration to be an unique pet, rather unusual in the pet profession. Yet it is possible to buy one.
  • The Dormouse was a small personality in the 1865 story Alice’s Experiences in Paradise by Lewis Carroll. At the Mad Hatter’s tea ceremony, it rests amongst much of the turmoil, in some cases waking to inform tales. This personality was likewise discussed in the 1967 tune “White Rabbit,” sung by the rock band Jefferson Plane.
  • The edible dormouse was taken into consideration to be a special for the top courses in lots of old societies, consisting of Gaul (modern-day- day France) and Rome– thus the beginning of the name. The Romans would certainly maintain the dormice in huge pits and elevate them for food. As the biggest participant of the taxonomical family, this specific species is still taken into consideration a standard special in some components of Slovenia and Croatia.

Dormouse Scientific Name

The dormouse is identified as a family of rodents that passes the name of either Gliridae or Myoxidae There are presently nearly 30 living species of this animal spread out around the Eastern Hemisphere, living in 9 various category. An additional 30 approximately extinct species are understood from the fossil document.

Regardless of the family name, the dormouse is not component of truth mouse family tree, however it is much more like a far-off relative to the squirrel team. Going back to around 50 million years, it is just one of the earliest taped teams of rodents presently understood and recorded.

Dormouse Appearance

With its spherical ears, thick hair, and large shiners, this animal has a little, mouse- like appearance. The one function that actually differentiates it from truth mouse (with just a few species excepted) is the visibility of the large, bushy, nearly squirrel- like tail. Its appropriate pigmentation is generally some variation of grey, brownish, or white, in some cases blended with dark red stripes or face markings. It likewise has pink- tinted skin revealing around the nose and feet.

Like various other rodents, the dormouse’s head plan is well- adjusted for gnawing and eating. This is incorporated with sharp and rounded claws for excavating and foraging. It has 4 figures on the forefeet and 5 on the back feet with soft toe pads adjusted especially for climbing up.

This animal’s family differs extensively in dimension. The tiniest species is the Japanese dormouse with a 3- inch body and a 2- inch tail. The biggest species is the edible dormouse with a 7.5- inch body, a 6- inch tail, and a weight of about 6 ounces. For contrast, this is virtually the dimension of a squirrel. The really usual hazel dormouse lives someplace in between both extremes.

Dormouse with a fluffy, squirrel-like tail perched in a tree
Malabar spiny dormouse (Platacanthomys lasiurus).

Kalyanvarma/ Creative Commons

Dormouse Actions

This animal is understood most importantly for its impressive capability to rest extended periods of time. For species residing in warm environments, it builds up massive shops of fat throughout the cozy months and after that hibernates for the whole autumn and winter season, sometimes waking to eat the food it has actually saved in its residence. This actions is not special to this animal, however the large size of its hibernation is genuinely respected and notable. The species that stay in warmer, southerly environments have a tendency to have extended periods of reduced task rather than straight-out hibernation.

Regardless of its instead tired actions, the dormouse is in fact a rapid and dexterous animal with an outstanding capability to climb barriers such as trees and rocks to get away predators or search for food. The majority of species have adjustments for an arboreal way of life, while others live along the ground in open locations and environments. As a nighttime animal, it mostly appears during the night to search. Its exceptional feeling of hearing is its major ways of sussing out resources of food and possible threat.

The dormouse is a little a loner, however it will certainly unite with various other participants of its species for reproducing and family rearing. It likewise has the propensity to hibernate with numerous various other dormice in the exact same burrow. It has different articulations to interact with others, consisting of whistles, screams, and tweets. It might likewise interact via body movement and aroma.

Dormouse Environment

The dormouse will certainly build an ideal nest in whatever well- secured area it can discover: trees, rocks, burrows, deserted nests, and also beehives. It is not particular regarding its living quarters. It can construct a nest out of moss, bark, greenery, and whatever else it locates. The male dormouse has an all-natural area and will very protect it from attacks by various other dormice. The female also has an area, though it’s much much less hostile regarding that appears. The dormice usage secretions to note their area from outsiders.

The dormouse has a big distribution throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, extending in between Spain in the west and Japan in the eastern, from Sweden in the north to below- Saharan Africa in the south. Several of one of the most usual species can be located throughout the heart of Europe.

The family occupies a remarkable variety of environments, consisting of jungles, deciduous woodlands, deserts, savannahs, and bush lands. The animal favors to live near river financial institutions and rough outcrops and conceal from predators in thick greenery. The large flexibility to a variety of environments makes the dormouse usual throughout much of the Eastern Hemisphere (though it never ever emitted bent on the Western Hemisphere). The dormouse has actually also prospered in the visibility of human populaces such as houses, structures, yards, and also some farming locations.

Dormouse Populace

Although specific populace numbers are unidentified, the dormouse, as a family, remains in reasonably durable wellness, dealing with really couple of considerable dangers. Nevertheless, numerous various other species, consisting of the Baluchistan woodland dormouse in Pakistan, the mouse- trailed dormouse in Turkey and Bulgaria, and the yard dormouse native to the island throughout Europe, are all near threatened or vulnerable to termination with populaces reducing. The populace of the hazel dormouse numbers is likewise decreasing in the UK. What’s required to reinforce populace numbers is much better monitoring of woodlands and areas of denser greenery in which they prosper.

Dormouse Diet

The dormouse is an omnivorous animal. Its diet mostly contains insects, fruits, nuts, blossom, and also some tiny bird eggs. If the animal is especially starving, after that it is not completely unusual for a dormouse to eat among its very own, especially a male opponent. Its climbing and excavating capability make it possible for the dormouse to discover food any place it might live. As a result of its varied taste buds, the dormouse diet will certainly differ based upon species and regional food choice.

Dormouse Predators and Risks

As a result of its tiny dimension and loved one absence of defenses, the dormouse is vulnerable to variouspredators Among one of the most usual dangers is huge birds such as hawks, owls, and falcons, which can swoop below above at any moment and promptly eliminate the dormouse. It is likewise vulnerable to meat-eating creatures, consisting of foxes, weasels, and much less often wild boars, which can dig straight right into openings and burrows in which the dormouse might be living.

The dormouse’s major ways of protection is, obviously, its rate and dexterity. The effective bite and sharp hissing audios act as a last line of prevention for a cornered dormouse. The animal likewise has the capability to regrow a tail captured and removed by a killer. Though energetic throughout springtime and summertime, the dormouse is rather vulnerable while hibernating for the winter season.

Like various other rodents, the dormouse is frequently taken into consideration by humans to be an insect and a service provider of illness. Much of them are eliminated in catches by careful individuals attempting to remove them. The dormouse is likewise dealing with threat from the damage of forested environments, which removes a lot of its all-natural residence.

Dormouse Reproduction, Children and Life-span

After arising from hibernation, the dormouse will certainly reproduce one or two times a year at different periods. This generally occurs throughout the springtime and summertime, depending upon the species. Not excessive is understood about dormouse breeding actions, however it is thought that the animal is polygynous, suggesting that a solitary male will certainly mate with numerous females however the females will just mate with a solitary male. The reason researchers think this is that males have actually been observed to eliminate with each various other for possible friends. This hostile actions might suggest strong competitors for accessibility to reproductive legal rights, as males hoard females.

As soon as a set copulates, the female dormouse generally generates approximately 10 children per clutter one or two times a year. The young dogs are birthed after 3 to 4 weeks of pregnancy generally with their eyes closed and no hair existing. The mommy supplies both nourishment and security throughout this initial critical point of life, and she will certainly build a lot of the nest herself. The males most likely leave quickly after copulation to seek even more friends and do not join kid- rearing obligations.

The young dormouse establishes reasonably promptly prior to winter season embed in. It takes regarding 3 weeks prior to the young mice open their eyes for the very first time. 4 to 6 weeks will certainly pass prior to they are totally discouraged and all set for complete self-reliance. A dormouse will certainly come to be sexually fully grown after regarding a year. The common dormouse species lives 3 to 5 years in the wild, however much longer in bondage. The edible dormouse has actually been understood to measure up to 12 years, probably due to the fact that they’re much more concentrated on survival than reproducing. Nevertheless, lots of people drop victim to meat-eating animals prior to they can pass away of all-natural reasons.


  1. Encyclopedia Britannica, Available here:
  2. Allison Poor and Phil Myers for Animal Diversity Web, Available here:
  3. IUCN Red List, Available here:

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