Tiny Arrivals Hop In....
Australia is well known for its amazing marsupials; but it also has a large number of native non-marsupial placental mammals. Most famous of course is the Dingo; but most of these modern mammals are assumed to have arrived from the north via land bridges or short sea crossings when sea levels were much lower. As a result, in addition to the Dingoes (and Humans) Australia has a number of native rodent and bat species.
Many of the native rodents have become extinct since the arrival of westerners and their imported animals. The Spinifex Hopping Mouse is a survivor and is found in the dry hot deserts, characterised by Spinifex grasses. It has distictively large ears and a very long tail with a tuft of hair at the end; hops rather than scuttles like most small rodents, has small litters and a slow reproductive cycle, and produces solid urine!
A group has just arrived at the zoo, and our Hopping Mice are the only ones to be found in the UK.
They are housed in one of the exhibits in the reptile house and should be visible in a week or two after they have settled in, and the cosmetic re-fit is completed.