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Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Dec 1;2011(12):1457-61. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot066712.

Husbandry and breeding of the lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Jaculus jaculus.

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Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


The lesser Egyptian jerboa, Jaculus jaculus, is the ideal jerboa species for use as a laboratory model system. As a member of the most derived clade of three-toed jerboas, it shows all of the specialized characteristics for bipedalism, including loss of the lateral digits and fusion and elongation of the metatarsals. It is a small rodent, weighing ∼55 g as an adult, and it does not hibernate through the winter as is common with many other jerboa species. It is the first Dipodoid rodent whose genome is to be sequenced, and multiple genomic resources are being generated. The jerboa has been notoriously difficult to breed in captivity with only a small number of zoos and private breeders achieving success. The Harvard University colony of 60 adult animals (half male/half female) has had 36 offspring born in captivity in one year. The jerboa colony at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife in Sharjah, UAE has been operating since 2007 and has had 180 live births. Here, we outline guidelines for successfully maintaining and breeding a colony of J. jaculus in a laboratory setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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