- There are about 90 species of gerbils; the Mongolian species is most commonly kept as a pet.
- They learn life skills and what they can and can’t eat from their parents and other family members.
- These rodents are meant to live in social groups and in the wild, live in extended families.
Welcome to the Gerbil Quiz, where you can test your knowledge and learn more about one of the small rodents that have been popular pets for over 50 years! These rodents are known for their burrowing and are diurnal, so will be out and about during the day. They will spend a lot of time entertaining themselves, and you, with their digging.
Take the quiz to test your knowledge of Gerbils if you believe you know everything there is to know about them or if you simply want to learn more about these adorable, furry rodents!
Gerbils are a type of rodent that belong to the family Muridae order Rodentia and the subfamily Gerbillinae. This subfamily includes gerbils, jirds and sand rats and has more than 90 different species. One of the most popular species in the United States to have as a pet is the Mongolian gerbil, which originates from Mongolia, China. Here are a few other popular types:
- Fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi) – endemic to the Sahara
- North African gerbil (Dipodillus campestris) – originated in North Africa
- Great gerbil(Rhombomys opimus) – endemic to Central Asia
- Pale gerbil (Gerbillus perpallidus) – endemic to Egypt
- Guinean gerbil (Gerbilliscus guineae) – found in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Interesting Gerbil Facts
These little rodents can be vocal – they may sometimes chirp to get attention – but many of the sounds that they make are not audible to the human ear. They have many complex communication patterns that are at a higher pitch than our ears are able to pick up. Keep reading to find out more interesting facts!
- They were known as desert rats before being introduced to Europe and North America as pets.
- If caught, they are able to shed their tails.
- The Mongolian gerbil’s scientific name means ‘small-clawed warrior’.
- When they purr or ‘vibrate’, this usually means they are happy.
- The largest species is the Rhombomys opimus.
- The smallest species is the Desmodilliscus braueri.
- They build extensive underground tunnels and spend most of their time in them.
- Rather than using water to bathe, they use sand which they roll around in until all debris is removed.
- They are very playful and like to wrestle with each other.