Family: Gliridae or Myoxidae or others
Dormice live in Europe, Asia Minor, and North Africa. There
are a few different kinds of dormice. They are endangered in
Britain. They are becoming endangered because the places they
like to live in are being cut down or built
The dormouse is easily
recognized by its small size, bright golden-brown color, large eyes and
bushy tail. They live in the wild. They spend most of their
time in trees so that they can travel from tree to tree without having to
cross the ground. They are a rodent. The dormouse eats
flowers, fruit, and insects. They are nocturnal
and look for food at night.
During the day, they stay in their nests that are made
of grass stems and honeysuckle bark. They like to live in
woods and forests. They sometimes use old bird nests or holes in
trees for a nest. Sometimes they live in shrubs or
underground. They like special nest boxes when they can find them.
Just like other hibernating animals, the dormouse will
fatten up to two times its normal size during the summer so that it can
live through the winter without food. They sleep from October to
April. They lower their body temperature, breathing, and heartbeats
so that their bodies don't use much energy. This makes their food
last longer in their bodies. They hibernate
on the ground in their nest, rolled up in a tight ball like the picture
above. They are cold if they are touched. They come out of
hibernation in April or May. They stay in hibernation longer when
the weather is bad.
The animal can raise one or two litters
each year. A female dormouse is pregnant
for 24 days and gives birth to a litter of 4-5 babies. The babies
stay with their mothers for 6-8 weeks and then go off on their own.
A dormouse lives between 3-6 years.
Their biggest enemies are birds of prey. They try
to stay away from these birds by sleeping inside trees during the daytime.
Back to Hibernation