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The Kid Should See This

Why do cloud forest spiny pocket mice jump so much?

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Cloud forest spiny pocket mice, small nocturnal rodents in the mountainous cloud forests of Costa Rica, are jumpy. Being a member of the kangaroo rat family helps with those jumps, but so does the constant threat of a being caught by a silent predator from above: The mottled owl.

owl
Filmmaker James Wolfe narrates this night vision peek into the world of the cloud forest spiny pocket mouse:

“They are found between 750 meters and 1,850 meters in the Tilaran Mountains. Its two outstanding features are its large spring-loaded hind feet that help it escape from predators and its external cheek pouches for taking large quantities of seed back to its den.”

jumping spiny pocket mice
jumping spiny pocket mouse
Other featured forest dwellers in the video include a tiny harvest mouse, the Mexican deer mouse, and a large herbivorous rodent called a Paca.

And here’s some delightful cheek pouch video proof:


Watch these related videos next on TKSST:
Kangaroo Rats Are Furry, Spring-Loaded Ninjas
Jump In Jerboas – Science Friday
The Agouti: Seed Disperser of the Rainforest
• X-ray video of how hamsters fit food in their cheek pouches

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