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A mouse is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents, characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, and a long naked or almost hairless tail. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse. Mouse often refers to any small muroid rodent, while rat refers to larger muroid rodents.
- The American white-footed mouse and the deer mouse, as well as other common species of mouse-like rodents around the world, also sometimes live in houses.
- Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of arthropods have been known to prey heavily upon mice.
- Nevertheless, because of its remarkable adaptability to almost any environment, the mouse is one of the most successful mammalian genera living on Earth today.
- Primarily nocturnal animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of hearing, and rely especially on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators.
- Breeding onset is at about 50 days of age in both females and males, although females may have their first estrus at 25–40 days.
- If exposed to a male mouse or the pheromones of a male mouse, most of the females will go into estrus in about 72 hours.
- Mice are common experimental animals in biology and psychology primarily because they are mammals, and also because they share a high degree of homology with humans.
- They are the most commonly used mammalian model organism, more common than rats.
- However, the term mouse can also be applied to species outside of this genus.
- Genus Mus – Typical mice Subgenus Coelomys Subgenus Mus Subgenus Nannomys Subgenus Pyromys Subgenus and species Mus lepidoides Many people buy mice as companion pets.
- Like pet rats, pet mice should not be left unsupervised outside as they have many natural predators, including (but not limited to) birds, lizards, cats, and dogs.
- Pinkies are newborn mice that have not yet grown fur; fuzzies have some fur but are not very mobile; hoppers have a full coat of hair and are fully mobile but are smaller than adult mice.
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