Dormouse, equal hibernation or sleepy animal. This graceful and interesting rodent belonging to the family of the Gliridae, Also known as Glis Glis and that deserves more attention. Sometimes he disappears behind the stereotype of his winter rest and few delve into his real characteristics, which make him a vital and active being.
Dormouse: animal and its characteristics
It is not big as an animal, it can be long maximum 30 centimeters, difficult to exceed this measure. It shows up with its thick fur, of gray and brown color on the back while on the belly it is almost candid white, sometimes cream colored.
In his rather tapered muzzle, like a rodent, they emerge two very large eyes, especially compared to his slender and slender body, and the eye also falls on long whiskers which have not only an aesthetic function, but also and above all tactile functions. Unlike the eyes, the dormouse's ears are small and rounded in shape.
It has the reputation of the sleepy animal but in truth it is not that it sleeps so much more than other similar ones. The fact is that it is a nocturnal animal: it comes out of its hiding places when the sun has set and does its activities at night, until the sun comes out again. At that point he he returns to his lair and stays there all day.
Dormouse hiding places and dens are cozy and tidy, located mainly in the hollows of trees, furnished with leaves and moss
Dormouse: what it eats
The menu of this rodent is mainly based on chestnuts, acorns, hazelnuts, berries and berries. Every now and then he also ingests some portions of animal proteins, swallowing small insects and invertebrates but they are certainly not "dishes" that he consumes every day.
As for instead its growth cycle, on average we can say that each dormouse reaches sexual maturity around ten months of life, at which point, at the first spring that arrives, it reproduces. Females give birth only once a year, in summer, and each time they bring to light from 2 to 8 puppies which are then reared in the den where they already lived.
Born naked and blind, the little dormice open their eyes after three weeks and stop feeding on their mother's milk at the same time, ready to discover the world, at night, like parents.
Few have perhaps the doubt that this animal does not go into hibernation, it is almost the symbol of hibernation itself and he has every right to go to rest, given the life he leads, its size and the temperatures he has to endure. It hibernates in winter, but already in the fall he is busy accumulating fat reserves which he will use in the cold months.
The dormouse was not born as a pet, it must be said, why it lives mainly in the woods between 600 and 1500 meters in height and not in our homes, beyond the altitude where they were built. Today it is also found in parks and gardens, hidden in old trees where a nest is created where then to take refuge in the hibernation period.
Europe is the home of the dormouse but so is Asia, on our continent its presence is concentrated above all in Spain, in the North, as far as Ukraine, in our country we can meet it in the Po Valley or in the South, in the Salento peninsula and in western Sicily.
There are many drawings of these animals, with their “sleepy” air that is perfect for a cup of coffee and milk when you wake up. On Amazon at 8 euros there are some nice and fun ones.
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