Week in Geek: Jump Around edition

Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus)
Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus)
Flickr user Cliff (nostri-imago)

This week I learned for the first time about the jerboa, a small mammal that’s like a mouse crossed with a kangaroo and a velociraptor.

Maybe you already know about the jerboa, maybe you don’t. Either way, I think the jerboa is worth reflecting on. How crazy is it to see an animal that looks like a mouse hop around like a kangaroo at light speed whipping its tale this way and that for balance like a velociraptor? Seriously crazy.

Unlike kangaroos, the jerboa lives in the deserts of Africa, Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula. And unlike velociraptors, it isn’t extinct. These little guys are small enough to hold in your hand, yet they can jump over six feet.

For more on why researchers are interested in this insane creature, check out this article from Wired (where I first found out about them). And watch one in action trying to outfox a fox in this clip from the BBC.

Here’s some more geek from the week:

Keep on geeking!

@Summer_Ash, In-house Astrophysicist

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Week in Geek: Jump Around edition