Monday, August 9, 2010

Tiny, Cute, and Endangered: The Long-Eared Jerboa, 2007

"Mysterious mammal caught on film"
BBC (December 10, 2007)

" An "extraordinary" desert creature has been caught on camera for what scientists believe is the first time.

"The long-eared jerboa, a tiny nocturnal mammal that is dwarfed by its enormous ears, can be found in deserts in Mongolia and China.

"Zoological Society of London (ZSL) scientist Jonathan Baillie said the footage was helping researchers to learn more about the mysterious animal.

"The species is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red list.

"The unusual animals were filmed in the Gobi desert during an expedition led by Dr Baillie.

"Until now, the creatures had proven extremely difficult to study, thanks to their minuscule size, nocturnal nature and the harsh desert environment that they inhabit.

"Big ears

"Dr Baillie told BBC News that he was 'ecstatic' to have tracked down the jerboas..."

(from BBC, used w/o permission)

Me? I think the little critters are cute. Almost like little furry cartoon characters. I also think that it'd be nice if they don't die out: provided that keeping their territory safe for them doesn't involve driving people out.

Don't get me wrong. I like cute furry animals. I also realize that there's a reason why you don't run into recipes calling for fresh trilobite: change happens.

But, like I say: long-eared jerboas are cute, and I hope they stick around.

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