They are found in Asia, North-Africa, India, Mongolia, Iran, Northern China, Russia and Turkey.
They live in dry, desert-like regions, grasslands and steppes.
They are mouse-sized rodents that can be 8-9 inches long with half their length being their tail. Their yellowish color is meant to blend with the dry grasses and sand of their habitat. They have long back legs for leaping, to avoid predators and other gerbils.
They are great diggers and make long tunnels underground to escape the extreme temperatures of their environment, store food and nest. They rest during the hottest part of the day and the coldest part of the night.
They eat plants, seeds, fruits and an occasional insect.
They are eaten by birds of prey.
The female is pregnant for 24 days (gestation) and has 4-10 pups. Both parents care for the young, the male keeping them warm and as they get more active, bringing them back to the nest. In her short lifetime she may have 7 litters of babies.
They can live up to 5 years, but usually 3 at most in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - Least Concern.
Species: Meriones unguiculatus
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