jerboa

jerboa

[jer-boh-uh, jer-]
noun
any of various mouselike rodents of North Africa and Asia, as of the genera Jaculus and Dipus, with long hind legs used for jumping.

Origin:
1655–65; < Neo-Latin < Arabic yarbūʿ; see gerbil

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World English Dictionary
jerboa (dʒɜːˈbəʊə)
 
n
any small nocturnal burrowing rodent of the family Dipodidae, inhabiting dry regions of Asia and N Africa, having pale sandy fur, large ears, and long hind legs specialized for jumping
 
[C17: from New Latin, from Arabic yarbū`]

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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jerboa

any of 33 species of long-tailed leaping rodents well adapted to the deserts and steppes of eastern Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Jerboas are mouselike, with bodies ranging from 5 to 15 cm (2 to 5.9 inches) in length and long tails of 7 to 25 cm. Certain traits are highly variable between species, particularly the size of the ears, which range from small and round to slender and rabbitlike or remarkably large and broad. Hind toes number from three to five, but all species have short forelegs and extremely long hind legs. The tail is often tufted. Jerboas' dense fur is either silky or velvety in texture and light in colour, usually matching the ground of the animal's habitat.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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