Murids in these subfamilies occupy a wide variety of habitats and niches. Most are terrestrial but some live underground, in trees, are semi-aquatic, or live in extreme environments. Most notable in this respect are the gerbillines, which have become adapted to extreme aridity. They avoid water loss and heat stress by being active at night, seeking refuge during the day in burrows, maintaining high relative humidity in their burrows, and producing concentrated urine. Gerbillinae is the most diverse of the 13 sub-

A large bamboo rat (Rhizomys sumatrensis) forages on the ground. (Photo by L. Bruce Kekule/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A Malagasy reed rat (Brachyuromy betsileonensis) foraging. (Photo by Harald Schütz. Reproduced by permission.)

families, illustrating how successful this suite of adaptations has proven.

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