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Rodents

  Crested porcupine:

African-Crested-Porcupineit weighs between 12-27kg. It is very large, black bodied nocturnal with long, black and white spines and prominent crest. It has a black rump and short rattle quills. The crested porcupine prefers savannahs, woodlands, steppes and uplands. Although found along forest margins or galleries, it prefers hilly or rocky country. The animal feeds on roots, bulbs, bark and fallen fruits, root crops, maize and cucumbers. Its behavior is characterized by family groups which often share a burrow or cave but foraging is a solitary activity during which an animal can travel more than 15km in a night.

 

 

 Squirrels:

Kgalagadi_Transfrontier_Park_061these are rodents with relatively large eyes, small ears and flamboyant scent-dispersing tails. Most of them are competent climbers. For example ground squirrels are coarse-coated terrestrial animals with claws adapted to digging. They have little or no pinnate to the ears and all rely on self dug burrows to escape predators and extremes of heat. They prefer rocky areas with scattered foliage, very dry steppes, savannah and sub desert environments. The squirrels eat grass leaves, various insects, nuts, seeds, and bush fruits. Their behavior is characterized by sun bathing as a regular activity, making vocal calls and playful and are known to be diurnal animals.

 

Anomalures:

these are scaly tail animals whose tails are strengthened by pairs of pointed scales on the underside. They are gliding rodents with slender bodies concealed by long, fine fur and the gathered membrane or ‘patagium’. This family of animals is sub divided into several sub species of which we shall look at Lord Derby’s anomalure.

 Lord Derby’s anomalure:

it weighs between 450-1100g. The animal is predominantly grey or brown with a ripping silvery grizzle to the tips of the long fine, textured fur. The membranes are similarly coloured behind the elbow strut. They prefer to live mostly in the moist rain forest to relatively dry woodlands at various attitudes. Their feeding habits are characterized by specializing in bark wound exudates, fruits, flowers leaves, nuts and occasionally insects. They are nocturnal animals which live in hollow tree trunks. They prune growing tree shoots at the base of trees to keep a clear path. The anomalures will in their flight path kill off potential competitors for their food tees.

 Murid rats and mice:

these range from 2 to 170grammes in weight and may have a long or short tail limbs, nose and ears. Under mice, 11 sub species do exist from which the spiny mice will be the case study.

-Spiny mice; it is between 10-40g. It has short limbs and very spiny as the name suggests, and has coarse fur. It prefers deserts and dry areas as its habitat. The spiny mice depend on seeds, leaves, dry plant matter and invertebrates.

-Soft furred rats; it is between 30-50g. In, general it has short soft fur, long tail and large round ears. The rat prefers tropical and montage forests, woodlands and moist savannah forest. The soft-furred rat is omnivorous i.e. it depends on invertebrates, fruits, seeds and fruits.