Tuesday, 3 April 2012

What are gerbils

What are gerbils?

Gerbils are a small rodent which is slightly larger than the average mouse but still smaller by a long way then a rat, and they always have furry tails. Gerbils are naturally friendly rodents and are easily tamable. They have a tendancy to dig (burrow) fanatically in a corner if their cage is too small.

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They are a social animal however if you plan on keeping more than one gerbil together you MUST buy them from the same cage. Putting two or more gerbils together that have never been together before will almost certainly result in a fight. Gerbils tend to fight to the death so it is not recommended to add two gerbils together that were not born together.

Who discovered the gerbil?

Gerbils were first discovered by a French Explorer called Armand David in the 1800s.

What did he write about the gerbil?

Here is what he wrote about the discovery of the Gerbil from his diary.

"April 14 Thermometer 25 degrees F {-4C}. Sky serene, with cumulus clouds, calm. This morning I acquire my first jumping mouse, three yellow rats I do not know the name of, having long hairy tails, and a ground squirrel. The Chinese tell me that the mouse is rare here, that it is nocturnal, herbivorous and lives in deep holes. According to them the yellow rat of Huang-Shu is abundant in the desert as in the cultivated areas; it lives in companies of several individuals in the shallow holes; its habits are diurnal; it a masses stores of grain for the winter, and during that season emerges a few times from its retreat" 
"April 23 Today the weather is excellent; we have left the high plateaus and it is very warm. Here the plain of Kweisui begins, crossed by a little river, which we have followed since morning. The plain is fertile and well cultivated and is scarred by some sandy places inhabited by great numbers of yellow rats with black claws, which gambol in front of their holes."
Quotes: Armand David diaries.

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