Jerboa is a small mouse-like mammal mostly found in the deserts of Asia and Middle East, and feeds on small insects and plants. Its rabbit like ears, kangaroo like hind legs and disproportionately long tail—features that help it survive the harsh desert conditions—make it look distinct from its rodent cousins.
The jerboa’s hind legs, which are four times longer than its front legs, help it move across the desert by jumping. It can jump up to a distance of 10 feet, both vertically and horizontally. And the hair on its hind legs prevents its feet from sinking into the loose sand.
Its forelegs, which are much shorter, are designed for digging burrows where it stores food.
A jerboa’s long tail gives the animal balance and support when standing on its hind legs. Because of these features, it looks and sprints like a kangaroo.
During World War II, a division of the British Army used the jerboa as its mascot.