About Desert Animals
Cairo Spiny Mouse
Mice, rat and gerbil family.
Least concern, IUCN.
Can be found in semi-desert, savanna and dry woodland.
This is a small mouse that is a golden brown color on top with a soft white underbelly. There are stiff guard hairs in its coat, but its tail is bare and scaly. These mice have a narrow face with large black eyes and big round ears.
Like many mice, this one is an omnivore, eating seeds, grain and insects, and is preyed upon by birds of prey, snakes, various foxes and cats.
After a gestation of 38 days, litters of usually 3 pups are born, though they can have up to 6, and other females will act as surrogates if needed. Pups are born with their eyes open and fully furred. A female can conceive throughout the year and may produce up to 12 litters in a year! They can live up to 5 years in captivity but on average live to be about 3 years.
Their spiny coat works to dissipate heat and regulate body temperature, and their kidneys are very efficient at retaining moisture.
If they are picked up by the tail, the tail will come off, much like a lizard's tail, and will never grow back!