iD magazine



When you think another’s body is oddly out of proportion, the best thing to do is to say nothing about it and quickly change the subject to the weather or something equally innocuous. In the case of the long-eared jerboa, however, the name says it all, and the little rodent has certainly earned its moniker: Its ears are roughly a third longer than its head, and there’s a good reason for that. In addition to improving the creature’s hearing, the big ears also help to regulate its body temperatur­e during extreme heat. The jerboa has been described as “a fuzzy rodent T-rex” because of its long hind legs and short arms, but it has also been referred to as “a potato on toothpicks.” Jerboas walk upright on their back toes, but their springy hind legs can propel them 3 feet into the air, helping them catch prey and evade predators. The short front legs serve primarily to grasp captured insects and move them toward the animal’s mouth. Jerboas are so elusive that the first footage of one wasn’t recorded until 2007. As cute as they are, it’s not legal to own one as a pet in the U.S.

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