Today’s Wonder – The Harvest Mouse

Today I spent a few special moments with one of the most adorable creatures I have come across in a while (excluding my boyfriend!). As part of a project I am working on, I get to come up close with a variety of small mammals (mice, voles and shrews). Some species are more “cute and cuddly” than others, and this guy tops the list!  

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Harvest mouse – dværgmus having a snack

This photo (not my best!) was taken on the side of a hill on the edge of a woodland, where one of the survey sites in. Over the past week and a half, I have been close to many harvest mice (dværgmus), bank voles (rødmus), field voles (markmus), yellow necked mice (hålsbåndsmus), a small number of house mice (husmus) and two species of shrew (spidsmus).  The (Eurasian) harvest mouse Micromys minutus  is the smallest rodent in Europe. They range in color from a dark grayish brown to a pale hazelnut brown (from what I have seen at this time of year anyway!). The are very small, weighing from 4 to 11g and have a fantastic prehensile tail. This means their tail is specially designed to grasp or hold on to things, which makes them very agile climbers! It is wonderful to watch, in those rare short moments where I get to observe the mouse before it darts undercover. 

If you would like to see some more amazing photos, check out this link, which I stumbled upon. Two photographers spent a year capturing the life of harvest mice, sitting very still and waiting! Stunning shots! 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314285/Revealed-tiny-The-secret-life-harvest-mice.html

I guess field work has it’s benefits after all! 

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