What do you get when you mix a mouse, a kangaroo, a monkey, a basset hound, and an antelope? You get a long-eared jerboa! No, they're not one of the weird crossbred animals - while these cute critters may look like a hodgepodge of other animals, but they're actually a real, living species. Not only are long-eared jerboas cute, but they're also fierce. After adapting to harsh environments like the Gobi and Sahara deserts, these jumping rodents manage to thrive.
However, did you know that you're the biggest threat to these adorable, angelic creatures? These long-eared jerboa facts will have you wishing you could put every single one of them in your pocket and bring them to safety. From jumping skills akin to Spiderman to having some of the largest ears in the animal kingdom, these adorable jerboa facts prove that these little creatures are more than just a cute rodent.
Jerboas have huge hind legs that let them jump great distances, especially given their height. These little critters tend to leap only five inches at a time, but if they need to escape from a nasty predator, they can hop up to 9.8 feet. They can also reach speeds of 15 miles per hour, which is pretty useful when you're running away from an owl.
The proportions are what make long-eared jerboas the cutest rodents of all. They're super tiny – only about 2.75 to 3.5 inches long. Their tails are actually the largest part of their body (even larger than their ears!). A jerboa's adorable, tufted tail is usually 6.3 inches long, which is more than twice the length of their body.
Long-eared jerboas don't just have giant ears for aesthetics (though they're pretty darn cute!). Big-eared desert animals typically have giant ears to help keep them cool. When blood moves through the ear, heat easily dissipates from the blood vessels along the skin's surface and into the air.
These cute little guys are very quick on their feet. This is probably why the adorable, little critters became a mascot for Britain during the second World War. The animal was a symbol for Britain's 7th Armored Brigade, who were also known as the "The Desert Rats" (get it?). Apparently, General Michael O'Moore-Creagh wanted his troops to be able to pop up, look around, and pop down, just like jerboas do in their natural habitats.