Dienstag, 1. Mai 2012

How to differ mice skulls

Hello and welcome to my first entry!
Today I want to talk about different types of mice and how you can discern them. That’s because not every animal which looks like a mouse is a real mouse… We start with the smallest and, in my eyes, cutest “mouse”.

The Shrew (Soricidae)

The mole and the hedgehog belongs same as the shrew to the insectivores (Eulipotyphla/Insectivora). Each day the shrew must eat a lot of food, because it has an enormous metabolism. Some of them must eat their body weight in food, making them to a very active animal.


Looking at its teeth you will notice that they are sharp and pointy, that makes shrews to predators. It eats insects, larvae and maggots and don’t stop at carcasses. Sometimes the shrews hunt their own prey (like frogs, snakes or voles) using their own poisonous saliva. Respect!


The Real Mouse


Oke, first I don’t know if I translated it right, but in German we say „Real Mice” to this group. Rats, field mice or house mice are “Real mice” and belong to the rodents (Muridae). Their characteristics are long tails and filigree bodies (very much unlike voles). They are almost herbivore and eat grass, seeds, bulbs etc.


Look at the teeth, they look like human teeth, right? Their teeth even have roots like human teeth. The skull of Real Mice is generally filigree and longish. By the way, this is a rat skull.

The Vole (Arvicolidae)

The voles are a different family by the rodents, namely the family of the “agitators” (Cricetidae). The size of a vole is bigger than a field or a house mouse and its body looks cloddy, like an oval shape. Furthermore the tail and the ears are much shorter. Voles are herbivores too, but they love to eat plant roots, bulbs and rhizomes and that makes them to vermin. Sometimes they eat fruits and seeds too.


If you compare the skull of a vole with a skull of a Real Mouse you will see that the vole skull is much stouter and not so longish. But the most characteristic features are the teeth! They don’t look like human teeth, don’t have roots and look wrinkled.


Well, I hope you enjoyed my first entry and that it was understandable. If you have some critique feel free to tell me. And, by the way, comments are always appreciated.
Thanks for reading!


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