Mouse Facts & Trivia
The word mouse actually comes from an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “thief”.
Many cultures believed that seeing a mouse meant there were bad things coming their way.
Common Folklore regarding mice:
- If a mouse gnawed at your clothes or you dreamed about a mouse it meant you were going to die soon.
- Ancient Jewish Folklore forbade the eating of any food a mouse had chewed on because it could cause forgetfulness or a sore throat.
- There are some who believed that the devil came on board Noah’s Ark in the form of a mouse and gnawed a hole in it to make it sink.
Some ancient cultures had a lot of respect for mice. In Egypt a cooked mouse was used to cure a variety of ills including stomach aches!!
In Ancient Greece, the God Apollo was sometimes called Apollo Smintheus, which means Apollo the Mouse. To honor him, white mice were kept in Apollo’s temples under the altar.
Some ancient stories give credit to mice or rats with punishing evil people.
Almost 2000 years ago, the Roman writer Pliny recommended mouse ashes mixed with honey to cure earaches.
Cooked mice were once used to treat whooping cough, smallpox, measles and many other ailments.
To this day some people believe that fried mice or mouse pie is a cure for bedwetting!
The first mice to arrive in North America arrived as stowaways on ships from Europe.
Mickey Mouse was born in 1928. Mickey quickly became the most famous Mouse shortly after he was created. He was so popular that during World War II, the Allies used his name as a secret password for the D-Day invasion of France.
Today mice and other rodents are credited with helping scientific research. They are ideal laboratory animals because they are small, don’t eat much and can breed very quickly. They also react much like people do to drugs and changes in diet.
A pair of mice can have 135+ children in a year! During that time, their children can also start multiplying in similar numbers! Because of the rapid breeding capabilities, scientists are able to study heredity patterns of several generations in only a few years. It would take hundreds of years to study as many generations of people.
Mice have tails that are as long as their bodies.
Mice are also excellent climbers and jumpers and use their well developed tails for balance. Mice also have scales on their tails which help the grip the surface they are climbing. When they move forward the scales lie flat against the skin but when they move backwards the scales pop up.
Mice see best in dim light because they have very bad eyes but their other senses are excellent.
Most rodents don’t recognize each other on sight, instead they smell, squeak and touch each other. Their hearing is extremely sensitive and they communicate with each other by making very high pitched sounds of which many, only other rodents can hear.
Their whiskers are used to sense smooth and rough surfaces, temperature changes and breezes.
All rodents have teeth that never stop growing. If a mouse doesn’t have something to gnaw on their teeth can grow up to 5 inches a year!!
Pet mice are available in at least 70 different colors and combinations. You can find them in black, blue, champagne, cream, dove, fawn, red and silver and many different combinations of those colors.
Some mice don’t have any hair at all.
The average mouse has a life expectancy of just 2 years.
When they are full grown they weigh between 1/2 and 1 ounce.
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