The first word that comes to mind when many think of a baby mouse is “pest”. It may be true that these adorable mammals can wreak havoc on your pantry. However, they are much more than a common household pest.
Let’s learn what a baby mouse is called and four more astounding facts!
#1: A Baby Mouse is Called a Pup or a Pinkie!
It’s no secret that baby dogs are called pups. Consequently, it may come as a surprise that the tiny baby mouse is also called a pup! Sometimes, baby mice are also called pinkies, which is a name they got from their rosy pink skin tone as newborns. Baby mice are most commonly called pups but are referred to as pinkies when being used to feed pet animals, such as snakes.
#2: Baby Mouse Pups are Born Ridiculously Quickly
There’s a reason why a mouse infestation in your home seems to develop quickly. You probably already know that the average human pregnancy lasts nine months. Can you imagine if a baby could be born in just twenty days? For the mouse pup, this is a reality!
A mouse’s gestation period isn’t the only thing that makes them able to reproduce so quickly. The average litter of mice consists of anywhere from five to twelve mouse pups. About six weeks after birth, the entire litter is considered sexually mature and can become impregnated immediately. Mice are not averse to inbreeding and will happily mate with siblings or parents to create new babies.
In the wild, the typical mouse pup has a life expectancy of around one year. However, inside a home, this expectancy can be double or more in favorable conditions. Additionally, while wild mice only mate twice a year, indoor mice are apt to procreate year-round.
#3: Female Mice Sometimes Eat Their Young
Female mice are extremely keen on preserving the lives of their young. So much so, that they are willing to go to extreme measures to ensure the survival of their young. In the wild, many environmental factors such as food shortages, extreme weather, and predators threaten their young.
So, what does this mean for a mouse pup? The answer is simple: female mice may eat a portion of their litter to save the lives of the rest. If a litter is particularly large or some of her young are weak, a mother mouse will eat her babies. This helps the lives of the others in two ways:
- The smaller litter size requires fewer resources. Therefore, unfavorable environmental factors have a lower impact on the resulting smaller litter.
- The calories from consuming her babies give a mother mouse more energy. Consequently, she can more adequately care for her babies.
Overall, there’s no doubt that the thought of a mother eating her babies might sound morbid. However, for female mice, it is the best way to ensure the strongest of her young survive.
#4: Mouse Pup Anatomy is Astounding!
Baby mice are often viewed as pests. These animals are notorious for spoiling food in pantries, nibbling holes in walls, and being a general nuisance. Consequently, you probably don’t know just how amazing the anatomy of a baby mouse truly is.
Many aspects of modern medicine have been made possible solely by the existence of baby mouse pups and their parents. The anatomy of a baby mouse is among the closest to humans in the animal kingdom. Consequently, scientists and researchers use mice to test their groundbreaking medical treatments. This means that mice have literally saved human lives!
That’s not the only thing that makes baby mice so amazing. Did you know that they can tell the temperature using their whiskers? Or that they communicate using high-pitched, ultrasonic sounds? Their tiny bodies are jam-packed with scientific wonders including a heart that beats up to 632 times a minute!
#5: Baby Deer Mice are Solitary Creatures
When you think of mice, chances are you imagine pesky indoor mice that live in giant nests in your walls. It might come as a surprise, then, that one species is an entirely solitary creature. This mouse, known as a deer mouse, is one of the most interesting mice in the world.
Perhaps one of the most astounding things about the deer mouse is that they are solitary animals. When a baby deer mouse is old enough to venture away from the nest, it finds and occupies its own territory. It is extremely rare to find two deer mice in the same territory.
Another amazing thing about the baby deer mouse is that it communicates in four different ways:
- Visual: gestures, posture
- Chemical: scents
- Tactile: grooming patterns
- Vocal: squeaks, shrieks
Overall, the baby deer mouse is among the most fascinating breed of all!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Bosnian/Shutterstock.com
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a baby mouse called?
A baby mouse is most commonly called a pup. Baby mice used primarily for feeding are called pinkies.
How much do baby mice weigh?
Baby mice are born weighing less than one gram. By the time they are six weeks old, they are almost as large as their parents.
What do baby mice eat?
Mouse pups survive on their mother’s milk for their first two weeks of life. Then, they enjoy a diet of grains, fruits, and proteins.
Where do baby mice live?
Baby mice live everywhere humans do, except Antarctica.
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