Physical characteristics

The smallest murines, like the African native mice, only reach 1.9 in (5 cm), while the largest can grow significantly bigger. The greater bandicoot rats (Bandicota), for example, can have a body length of 14.7 in (36 cm) and can weigh up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg). In some cases, their tails are semi-prehensile and assist in climbing, and can either be scaly or slightly

A Natal multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis) perched on a rock. (Photo by Rudi van Aarde. Reproduced by permission.)

The Australian jumping mouse (Notomys alexis) is the most common of all hopping mice. (Photo by Tom McHugh/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
A long-tailed field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) eating a seed. (Photo by Stephen Dalton/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

furred. They can have opposable thumb knobs, and their bodies are adapted for climbing (strong feet and semi-prehensile tails), jumping (long hind feet), or swimming (using their tails as rudders). They have, in general, 16 teeth (I1/0 C0/0 P0-3/1 M0/0-3), and their rooted molars are either laminate or cuspidate. Females have 4-24 nipples.

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