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Natural UAE

Lesser Jerboa

Rodents are the largest group of mammals in the United Arab Emirates. The most unusual in shape is certainly the lesser jerboa (Jaculus jaculus). It has greatly enlarged hind legs with large hair tufts on its back feet, which enable it to move in leaps in a similar gait to the kangaroo. The long tail is tipped with an extended, flat, rudder-like tuft that helps the jerboa keep its balance when taking leaps that can cover more than one metre. The jerboa often sits on its back legs using the tail as a third leg, in the manner of a tripod. It is sandy-beige in colour with a white belly, rather large, rounded ears and conspicuous big black eyes.

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