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Wood Mice

Unlike the house mouse, some species of Old World mice live in fields and woods and rarely bother humans. One such species is the wood mouse (Apodemus). Wood mice are found as far south as Morocco reaching as far north as Iceland and are common throughout Europe and Scandinavia as well as Asia. Of the eleven species that have been identified, five live in Europe. Wood mice are similar in appearance to house mice but have bigger ears, longer hind legs, and their eyes protrude more noticeably. Their bodies range in size from 3-5 in (8-13 cm), and their tails are usually the same lengths as their bodies. Their soft hair comes in a variety of colors.

Nocturnal animals, wood mice live anywhere there is sufficient ground cover in which to hide from predators and to get food—particularly, on the edge of forests. Making their nests under tree roots, these mice leave their nests in the evenings and, in pairs, forage for seeds, berries, grubs, and other insects. If the weather is mild, these mice can breed rapidly, sometimes having four litters each year with an average of five young.

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)