Animals

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Deer Mouse Facts

Deer mouse facts about the most common biotic community member in North America.
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A deer mouse belongs to the Cricetidae family. Most of the time, a deer mouse is also called a North American deer mouse or a white-footed deer mouse. Peromyscus rodents are often carriers of infections, viruses, and pests, and the deer mice may not be an exception to that. These wild rodents have medium-sized litters. The deer mouse habitat are mostly found in North America, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. They are considered pests by humans. They don’t always build their own nests. Their food choices vary, and they eat a wide variety of seeds, fruits, and flowers.

The behavior and color of the coat of the deer mouse are significantly affected by a wide range of mutations. These tiny rodents form a staple diet for many large predatory animal species and birds of prey. This animal can build its nest almost anywhere, including storage boxes and old furniture. Here are some fascinating facts about the Northwestern deer mouse for your reference.

Afterward, do spare some time and check out our other articles on Indian palm squirrel facts and dormouse facts as well.

Deer Mouse

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects and other invertebrates

What do they eat?

Carnivores

Average litter size?

1-9 pups

How much do they weigh?

0.35-0.85 oz (0.009-0.024 kg)

How long are they?

3-4 in (7.62-10.16 cm)

How tall are they?

1-2 in (2.54-5.08 cm)

What do they look like?

Pointed nose, large ears, beady eyes, furry tail, reddish-brown body

Skin Type

Fur

What are their main threats?

Predators like snakes, owls, cats, foxes

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Woodlands, grasslands

Locations

Alaska, Canada, Mexico

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Peromyscus maniculatus

Family

Cricetidae

Genus

Peromyscus

Deer Mouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a deer mouse?

A deer mouse is a wild mouse. Unlike other rodents, these mice are known to have several ways of communicating with each other through visuals and other chemicals.

What class of animal does a deer mouse belong to?

A deer mouse belongs to the mammal class of animals. A female mouse gives birth to its young ones and feeds them for a long time.

How many deer mice are there in the world?

The population density of deer mice species is 1-7 deer mice per acre. Their exact population has not been determined yet.

Where does a deer mouse live?

A deer mouse can live anywhere including habitats in the woods, the desert grounds, a house, the tropical rainforest grounds, and the wetlands.

What is a deer mouse's habitat?

A deer mouse is seen to be setting up its home in habitats like woodlands, the grasslands, the agricultural fields, the forests, the deserts, the prairies, the tropical islands. They dig up a hole near the ground to build their nest. Deer mice mostly live alone. These rodents have the ability to settle down anywhere it feels safe to them. Deer mice are not choosy about their habitat and hence inhabit a wide range of areas. Deer mice may even make a home in abandoned squirrels and bird nests. Their own nests are built up of feathers, fur, leaves, twigs, grass, and clothes. They situate them inside the tree cavities.

Who do deer mice live with?

Deer mice live on their own. The territories of two deer mice hardly ever overlap. In case of overlap, it is between the territories of opposite sexes for the purpose of sexual mating. The litters of baby deer mice on maturing leave the females’ nest and find their own territory.

How long does a deer mouse live?

A deer mouse can live up to only eight years. But very few deer mice are known to live beyond the age of two and a half years.

How do they reproduce?

Deer mice attain sexual maturity at the age of 35-49 days. They breed every 3-4 weeks during the summers (warmer months). In winters (colder months), they tend to breed less often due to the unfavorable climate. Females choose warm grounds to build nests and deliver the babies. The gestation period for litters lies between 22-30 days. Females can give birth to 1-9 deer mouse babies in a single pregnancy.

What is their conservation status?

The population of deer mice is abundant all over the world. Hence, the conservation status of deer mice is Least Concern.

Deer Mouse Fun Facts

What do deer mice look like?

Deer mouse identification is very simple. Deer mice range in color from gray to reddish-brown. They have a fur-covered body. They have four legs, all of which are white in color. The underside of the deer mouse’s body is also white in color. They have a round and slender tail. Their tail has small fur of the same color as their body hair. They have large ears. These large ears give them the power to hear the slightest noises.

Deer mouse are regarded as pest in North America with varied habitat locations.

How do they communicate?

Deer mice are said to have four behavioral modes of communication. The first mode is visual. In the visual mode, they use gestures and postures to communicate. The second mode is the chemical signals. They send chemical signals to one other. The third mode is tactile. Tactile is the mode in which the mice follow mutual grooming patterns. They groom themselves in a specific way to send a particular signal. And the last mode is the vocal mode. Deer mice squeak and shriek to talk to the others of their species. Being having individual territories, the most communication between males and females happens during the mating period.

How big is a deer mouse?

A deer mouse size ranges between 1-2 in (2.54-5.08 cm) of height. They are known to be 3-4 in (7.62-10.16 cm) long if we exclude their tail. They can have tails of variable lengths. Deer mice are almost the same size as a sparrow.

How fast can a deer mouse run?

A deer mice can run at the speed of 2.9 mph (4.66 kph). Its speed is similar to other normal rodents.

How much does a deer mouse weigh?

A deer mouse weighs between 0.35-0.85 oz (0.009-0.024 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of the deer mice species in North America. They are known as male deer mice and female deer mice respectively.

What would you call a baby deer mouse?

A deer mouse baby is called a pup.

What do they eat?

A deer mouse diet includes a wide variety of insects, beetles, caterpillars, and other invertebrates. They also eat seeds, fruits, flower seeds, and flowers.

Are they dangerous?

White-footed deer mice do not use physical power to harm humans. But they are carriers of various viruses and pests. They can contaminate food and populated areas by spreading awful diseases. Hence, they can be very dangerous to human health.

Would they make a good pet?

A pet deer mouse is a very good idea as they are very low maintenance and have good behavior. You can feed them whatever food is available in the household. Before taking a deer mouse as a pet, make sure that they are not hosts or carriers of any viruses or pests.

Did you know...

The white-footed deer mouse species has 61 subspecies.

Deer mice are most commonly used as lab rats.

Rodents such as the northwestern deer mice are a  nocturnal species.

Zacatecas deer mice are only found in Mexico.

The deer mice are native to North America

Deer mouse vs house mouse

A house mouse has completely single-colored fur, and a deer mouse has a white underside. They are also white-footed. While a house mouse's tail is bald, the deer mice have furry tails. Deer mice have habits of storing food near their nests, but no such habits are observed in the house mice. A field mouse vs deer mouse study tells us that deer mice are slightly larger than field mice.

What adaptations do deer mice have?

The theory of evolution by natural selection very correctly applies to deer mice. It is observed that deer mice staying in forest areas are darker in color, and those staying in desert-like areas are sandy in color. These white-footed animals have made these adaptations over the years to protect themselves. They have selectively evolved to blend in with their environment, to be able to hide effectively if in danger.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these mice facts, and kangaroo rat facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Deer mouse coloring pages.

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