I get so jazzed when I come across a new critter that I never before knew existed. I enjoy sharing info on such discoveries with other folks who, like me, enjoy sharing new information with their friends……
Our planet abounds with amazing critters; and, this one is kind of a creepy cute one, which makes it an excellent candidate for my blog. Folks, may I present my newest favorite critter, the Southern Grasshopper Mouse.
Some Interesting Facts about this cute little critter:
- Its Latin name is Onychomys torridus. I can’t pronounce that, so I just call it a grasshopper mouse. It is also known as the scorpion mouse.
- Unlike a house mouse that eats mainly grains and grasses, southern grasshopper mice are carnivorous. They are ferocious hunters who stalk their prey much like a cat.
- A baby grasshopper mouse is called a pup. Even as a very young pup, the grasshopper mouse is a fierce opponent and able to take on prey much larger than itself.
- It resides in southwestern desert areas in places like the U.S. states of New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and in the country of Mexico.
- It lives in underground burrows. Instead of digging its own burrow, this sly critter will either take over an abandoned mouse burrow or will forcefully evict another mouse from its burrow and take up residence in the stolen burrow.
- It likes to eat live food such as crickets, scorpions, tarantulas, small lizards, and even other species of mice, including its fellow grasshopper mice.
- Unlike us humans, it is resistant to the venom of scorpions and tarantulas. This little critter has the ability to counter the harmful physical effects of insect venom so that scorpion stings, spider bites, and even snake venom do not harm it.
- This critter is territorial in nature. It claims a certain area of land as its personal space, and will fiercely defend its territory from other grasshopper mice. The area a single grasshopper mouse may lay claim to can be as large as 28 acres.
- A very unique behavior of this critter is the shrill warning call it emits. Just before it devours its prey, the southern grasshopper mouse stands on its hind legs, throws its head back and emits a shrill call somewhat like a tiny wolf. It also howls as a warning to other grasshopper mice to stay off its territory.
Grasshopper mouse howling
Below are links to some videos and articles about this tiny desert warrior.
To watch a five minute video showing a pair of grasshopper mice taking on a a scorpion and to see the howl of victory made after a successful kill, view it -HERE-
Here’s another short two minute video showing a mother grasshopper mouse defending her pups against a poisonous centipede. You can view it -HERE-
Wired has an article that explains how a grasshopper mouse fights off the effects of poisonous venom. You can click -HERE- to read the article.
Educate your mind on a daily basis