FunNature & AnimalHow are rodents different from other mammals?

How are rodents different from other mammals?

Most rodents are quadrupeds with long tails, clawed feet, long whiskers, and teeth and jaws specialized for gnawing. Although generally terrestrial, some species are arboreal (squirrels), others are burrowers (moles), and a few are semi-aquatic (beavers).

The anatomy of the is of the most uniform of the mammals: the front legs have five fingers although the thumb can be atrophied, be a vestige or be absent; the hind legs have 3 to 5 toes and facilitate plantigrade locomotion in rodents. The tail is very useful for different species: beavers with their flat and wide tail for swimming by propulsion, the Eurasian harvest mouse uses it to climb on cereals, in some species the tail can be cut or torn when it is caught by a predator, this system allows the rodent to flee from its pursuer.

His teeth

The four incisors of rodents is one of the main characteristics that differentiate them from other mammals: they are long, curved and constantly growing; only the front surface of the same has enamel; the posterior part has a softer dentin which is the one that erodes due to wear; This system also allows teeth to be always sharp.

The senses of smell and hearing are highly developed in rodents

Most rodents have keen senses of smell and hearing, which together with the tactile sensitivity of their long and bushy whiskers, offers them a better understanding of everything that happens around them:

• Guinea pigs: the inner ear snail has four turns (rats, mice and man have two turns) which allows it to have a greater number of auditory cells and excellent hearing. They can perceive frequencies up to 33,000 Hz.
The smell of these animals is about 1,000 times greater than that of man.

• Hamster: its smell is the most developed organ; even allows you to “remember olfactory images”

• Gerbil: its middle ear is large, which allows it to enjoy excellent hearing.

• Rats and mice: we could classify the hearing of these animals as outstanding, it allows them to penetrate the sonorous territory of ultrasound.

Regarding sight, we can say that nocturnal species have larger eyes than diurnal species. This is due to the need to optimize the light received by the retina: the greater the amount of light received, the clearer, sharper and brighter the image received:

. Guinea pigs: Unlike other rodents and lagomorphs, guinea pigs have a certain degree of color vision.
Hamster: they have a poor visual capacity although they can appreciate certain colors.
. Mice and rats: they cannot appreciate colors although thanks to the position of their eyes they have a visual field of almost 360 degrees.
Squirrels: if they distinguish colors, they have a wide field of vision.

We already know that the tail of rodents can have different functions according to their different forms, but there are certain peculiarities that we still have to know:

· Gerbil: it has a long tail that allows it to stabilize when jumping and to support itself when standing on its hind legs.
· Rat and mouse: rats have more rows of scales (ring-shaped and lined by short, stiff hairs known as bristles) on their tails (210 or more) than mice (no more than 180).

The pockets
This unique anatomical structure is characteristic of hamsters, it is a bag that runs from the corners of the lips to the shoulders of the animal. Its function is to store food for later consumption or for transport.

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