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Mice

New World Mice (hesperomyinae)

Containing about 350 species, the subfamily of New World mice is the largest mammalian group. Members live in a wide range of habitats thriving in deserts, on mountains, in humid forests, and even on ice-bound plains. Geographically, they live as far north as the southern reaches of the North Pole and as far south as Patagonia, which is the southern tip of South America. Most New World mice live on the ground, however some burrow into it, some live in semi-aquatic conditions, and some even live in trees. The Climbing mouse (Rhipidomys venezuelae), for instance, builds its nests in burrows beneath the roots of trees in the forests of South America but spends a lot of its life in the treetops.

Like most mice, New World mice are usually vegetarians, although some have adapted to eating small animals. For example, the northern grasshopper mouse, living in North America, is largely carnivorous. Dieting primarily on grasshoppers and scorpions, on occasion this mouse may even eat other mice.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Methane to Molecular clockMice - New World Mice (hesperomyinae), Deer Mice, House Mice, Wood Mice, Spiny Mice - Old World mice (Murinae)