Southern Grasshopper Mouse

The southern grasshopper mouse is an extremely aggressive predator and seizes its prey with a rush, killing with a bite to the head.

The southern grasshopper mouse is an extremely aggressive predator and hunts its prey like most sophisticated predators.

After stalking its potential kill, the grasshopper mouse will seize the animal with a rush, killing with a bite to the head. While overpowering its prey, the mouse closes its eyes and lays its ears back.

In a study done by Richard McCarty and Charles H. Southwick, southern grasshopper mice were deprived of food and their predatory behavior against laboratory mice and crickets was observed. After 48 hours of food deprivation, the mice spent more time eating crickets than the laboratory food they were provided. The crickets were both dead and alive, but the mice spent more time eating the unharmed living crickets, which might suggest that prey movement might be a catalyst and cue for predatory attack. The difference between the time that females and males spent eating living crickets was not significant, indicating that predatory attack is not necessarily more dominant in just one sex. When the mice came in contact with laboratory mice of both sexes, they also showed very aggressive behaviors, such as biting the back and tail of their prey. After two days of being around the laboratory mice, six of the 43 male grasshopper mice and 22 of the 45 females grasshopper mice killed and ate certain parts of the laboratory mice. The difference between this aggressive behavior between the male and female grasshopper mice was significant. The study concluded that food deprivation and the type of prey affected the intensity and aggressiveness of the predatory attacks observed by southern grasshopper mice.


Image | ©️ Internet Archive Book Images, Public Domain, (CC0 Public Domain)
©️ Internet Archive Book Images, Public Domain, (CC0 Public Domain)
Sources | (Kester, 1999; McCarty & Southwick, 1981)

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