Here's a dozen interesting facts about Gerbils...
1.) Gerbil has been recently introduced to the pet industry.
2.) There are many colorful varieties of Gerbil available in pet shops.
3.) Mongolian Jird is the most widely known species of Gerbil.
4.) Today, there are more 20 different coat colors in the Mongolian Gerbil.
5.) Mongolian Gerbil has been captive-bred the longest.
6.) Gerbils diet includes almost any plant items like sunflower seeds, peanuts, fruits, and vegetables, along with insects.
7.) Gerbils are popular because they are typically non-aggressive and they rarely bite unprovoked or without stress.
8.) They are small and easy to handle, since they are sociable creatures that enjoy the company of humans and other gerbils.
9.) Gerbils also have adapted their kidneys to produce a minimum of waste to conserve body fluids which makes them very clean with little odor.
10.) Gerbils will pound both their hind legs on the ground when they are excited or stressed.
11.) Gerbil babies are born blind, deaf and hairless.
12.) Gerbil can survive without water for a few days.
Notable species of Gerbil...
Fat-tailed Gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi)
Fat-tailed Gerbil or Pachyuromys duprasi is a cute-looking rodent which is also known as Duprasi Gerbil. It is the most docile species. Other common names of this rodent include Fat-tailed Jird, Fat-tailed Rat and Beer Mat Gerbil. It has a fluffy and soft fur and it is a very new on the pet market.
Mongolian Gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus)
The Mongolian Jird or Mongolian Gerbil, which is formally named Meriones unguiculatus, is the most widely known species of Gerbil. It is also the usual or most popular gerbil species to be kept as a pet or experimental animal.
Like the Golden Hamster, it was first brought to the United States in 1954 for use in research. There were 44 pairs caught originally from Mongolia and brought to England. They were described as "squirrel colors with long furry tails." It is also formerly as the Domesticated Gerbil.
Persian Jird (Meriones persicus)
The Persian Jird a rodent species that can be found in many Asian countries like Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and other neighboring countries. This rodent is about 6 inches long and has a brush-tipped tail that is slightly longer than the body. They are wild brown with white bellies. It feeds on dry plant material and grains, with small insects as a supplement. Some people keep Persian Jird as a pet. It has a lifespan of up to 7 years. Prospective buyers should remember that it needs a large cage that allow climbing and leaping.
Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus)
The Sand Rat, also known as the Fat Sand Rat, is a gerbil that is mostly found in North Africa and the Middle East. It can easily acquire diabetes mellitus when it is fed a normal rodent diet of grains. Therefore it has been used as an animal model for studies on diabetes.