Facts About Mice

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Those tiny rodents that skip and slip through our legs have learnt civility living with the humans. However not all mice are so well behaved. There are monstrous rodents like the capybara, the Bosavi woolly rat that are dangerous. Man has evolved scientifically by conducting experiments on mice which share the human genome. However, the most famous and happy mouse is the Mickey Mouse, a Walt Disney character, a celebrity with the kids. Stuart Little and Tom and Jerry are other animated characters that have won hearts the world over. Here are other interesting facts on mice:

 Fact 1: Mice (scientific name Mus) are rodents that appeared on earth 65 million years ago. They were found in India, China, and Pakistan and later in Europe.

Fact 2: Interestingly, our very own household mice started its association with humans only after the superior race took up agricultural activities. This must have been around 10,000 BC.

Fact 3: Researchers have found that humans and mice share the same set of genes. The human and mouse genomes are identical to the extent of 85%! This is one of the reasons why scientists have used the mice for various experiments. There are very interesting studies on mice, like the colour identification by the triple-coned mice or mice that produced antibodies after they were vaccinated against the 2009 pandemic that protected them from the injected 1918 virus.

Fact 4: There are about thirty types of mice from the Old or New World. The commonly known ones are wood mouse, deer mouse, house mouse, dormouse, zebra mouse, spiny mouse and field mouse. Mice are nocturnal animals. They have poor eyesight but very good sense of sound and smell.

Fact 5: Rats and mice are rodents but are different. Rats are larger, bald, cylinder shaped and scaly. Mice have snorted nose, small head compared to their body, slightly larger ears and usually have a life span of 1.5-2.5 years. Rats on the other hand, have larger features and live for 2-3 years.

Fact 6: The smallest known mouse is the African pygmy measuring 1.2 to 3.1 inches. The largest rodent is the capybara, in southern parts of Central America.

Fact 7: The Gough Island in South Atlantic is home to bloodthirsty mice. These rodents are larger by more than half the size of the normal mice. They have devoured the seabird petrel and the chicks of the Tristan Albatross which are about three hundred times larger than themselves.

Fact 8: In Southeast Asia, Northern Malawi and Zambia, mice are a delicacy. They are considered a source of protein. In Asia, the mice that feast on rice grains in the countryside are picked for making delicacies.

Fact 9: Some fascinating things to know about mice include the fact that they communicate with their facial expressions, they are highly organised, are explorers, they go as far as only 8m from their home in search of food, their whiskers can sense temperature change and smooth and rough edges and that they can jump about 3-4m without hurting themselves.

Fact 10: Mice have been symbolic to man. They are considered sacred to the Greek god Apollo. People in Europe believed that the mouse had the ability to carry the soul of humans who passed away. For Christians, mouse symbolises destruction, cowardliness and hypocrisy. In Hindu mythology, the mouse is the vehicle of Lord Ganesh. In general, mouse is associated with innocence, determination, adaptability, fertility, resourcefulness, cleanliness, modesty and super-awareness.

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