Temporal range: ate Miocene – Recent
|House mouse, Mus musculus|
A mouse (plural mice) is a rodent, which is a kind of mammal. It has a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. They are known to invade homes for food and occasionally shelter.
These small animals are often used in science experiments, or sometimes kept as pets. Some mice carry diseases. This causes some people to think of mice as vermin or pests. Many other people think mice are cute and fun animals. Mice are rodents, therefore they are related to squirrels, rats, and beavers. Mice eat weeds, seeds, berries, and more. They are eaten by owls, foxes, and cats, amongst others.
Types of mice
The word "mouse" should only be used for small murines, but does get used for other distantly-related small rodents. The murines are the largest subfamily of mammals. In fact, it is larger than almost all mammal orders.
The common house mouse is thought of as a pest. They are found in the homes of humans.
Voles are not mice, they are in a different family of rodents.
These are not mice either, or only distantly related. These mice live in forests. They can run and jump better than mice, and they get their common name from this.
The aggressive grasshopper mouse rarely eats other mice, but it does like grasshoppers and insects. It is also only a distant relative.
Mice in media
Chuck E. Cheese is another famous mouse. He is the mascot of Chuck E. Cheese's pizza restaurants.
|40x40px||Wikispecies has information on: Mus.|
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- Meerburg BG, Singleton GR, Kijlstra A (2009). "Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health". Crit Rev Microbiol 35 (3): 221–70. doi:10.1080/10408410902989837. PMID 19548807. http://www.informahealthcare.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10408410902989837.