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Gerbil Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
7-15cm (2.5-6in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
56.6113g (2-4oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
6km/h (4mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
3-5 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Grey, White, Black, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:Seeds
The specific area where the animal lives
Dry deserts
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:Seeds, Fruit, Nuts
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Birds, Snakes, Wildcats
Special Features:Small body and long detachable tail

Gerbil Location

Map of Gerbil Locations


Gerbils are naturally found in the sandy plains of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The gerbil was originally known as a desert rat until they were commercially introduced to North America and bred as pets.

The gerbil is a small rodent, similar in many ways to by the mouse and the hamster. Gerbils have a long tail like a mouse which the gerbil is able to shed should the tail get trapped. This self defense mechanism allows the gerbil to escape predators, leaving them with just a tail.

Gerbils have sharp claws which the gerbils use to burrow their way into the sandy grounds of the desert. The gerbils are also able to use these underground burrows to get away from danger by quickly disappearing under the sand.

There are thought to be more than 100 different species of gerbil that are found in the wild with the majority of these gerbil species being diurnal. However, many gerbils that are kept as pets live a more nocturnal lifestyle meaning that pet gerbils tend to be awake during night time hours more than day time hours.

Wild gerbils are well known for building extensive networks of tunnels that the gerbils are able to hide and breed in. The gerbil only really comes to the surface of the ground when the gerbil needs to find food and water.

The long and releasable tail of the gerbil is around the same length as the gerbils body, but it appears to depend on the individual gerbil species. The gerbil uses its long tail to help the gerbil balance when the gerbil is standing on its hind legs.

Gerbil Comments

genevieve south
"i love gerbils! i have one of my own! i have some in my classroom!"
"This really helped with my science fair project"
Kylie Watson
"A++ Gerbils"
carly jank
"I have a pet gerbil and this article is exactally right"
"Gerbils are awsome and they are giving me facts for school on them"
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First Published: 2nd December 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Dec 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Dec 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 02 Dec 2008]

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