Fancy Mouse

Mus musculus

Species Information

These rodents can be found scurrying around their enclosure and climbing all over their furniture!

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The fancy mouse is a domesticated breed of the house mouse, which originates from South-East Asia In Northern India, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. However, they range across all continents apart from Antarctica and are found in a number of different habitats including grasslands and forests but mainly in manmade structures.


Because of their artificial selection and domestication, a fancy mouse can have a variety of different fur olours, rather than their original, wild brown fur. A mouse’s long tail acts as a fifth limb; wrapping around objects allowing mice to balance easily and build bridges between objects enabling them to move around with great agility. They have poor eyesight but a heightened sense of smell and hearing, allowing them to locate food, detect predators, and ommunicate with one another through sound and scent. They also use their tail to detect temperature and terrain changes.

They eat grains, seeds, roots, fruits, fungi and insects.

18-30 months.

Naturally they live in burrows, constructing a series of tunnels to navigate through. They rarely leave the burrow and will only do so at night to forage for food in a small territory. They are also skilled swimmers, climbers and jumpers, which allows them to reach food sources and evade predators. They can also communicate using ultrasonic sounds. Many animals, including humans, cannot hear ultrasonic sounds. Thus, they emit these sounds to make ‘silent alarm calls’ for incoming intruders as well as being able to hear sounds of approaching threats.

They have a polygynous mating system, meaning one male will mate with multiple females. Before copulation, a male will song to a female to court them. Within the gestation period of 19-21 days, the female will construct a nest where she will give birth to 3-12 young, but usually 5/6 pups. A female can have 5-10 litters a year, so the species can populate very quickly. The pups will then be weaned and independent after 3 weeks.

Least Concern

A mouse will sometimes play dead until a danger has passed!