Tuesday, April 8, 2014
G is for Gerbil
There's not much to say for the gerbil, but the gerbil doesn't let this bother him. Originally called the desert rat, but re-branded as gerbil for the American pet trade, the gerbil hails from Mongolia and was first brought to the US for research. Instead of being bald, its tail is covered with stiff brown fur. It is a rodent which means its teeth never stop growing and must be ground down to stay in trim. In captivity, it will run on its exercise wheel until it gets up to speed, and then will stop and hang on, letting the wheel do a full 360 loop. I do not know if other rodents do this, but gerbils do, for I have seen them do it.
I had gerbils as a child, and we would put on the album Hair at high speed and pretend they were giving us a lip-synching concert. This last is not really zoological information, but it was amusing for a ten-year-old kid in Sandersville, Georgia in an age before internet.