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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As anyone who has ever kept these little guys knows, the African pygmy mouse (Mus minutoides) is very difficult to photograph because 1) it is too small to be handled, 2) it is quick as lightning, 3) it hides all the time.

Nevertheless, I managed to get a few decent pictures (some are blurrier/grainier than others) the other night at about 4am when they were active and thought I would share:








(This little guy lost his ears somehow. As far as I remember, he's never had them.)






(A baby who wandered out of the nest, got licked/cleaned, then wandered out again. When they're born, they're the size of large ants.)





 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes and no. They're a lot more like fish than mice but they eat the same food as regular mice and require much less space, though they need many more areas to hide in so they feel secure, and (this is important) being African animals, they need a constant heat source. I used a reptile lamp and keep their tank at around 80 degrees fahrenheit (27 cesius). I do know some folks who have kept them without a heat source, though.

You can't interact with them much. You have to just watch them and that's that. Mine are also poor breeders, which I think is possibly because they're highly inbred.

I have a friend in Germany who has a blue agouti mutation. They're so pretty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, some can't use a water bottle because they're too small to make the nozzle work. For the first few months I had these guys I also had them a water dish, and now it seems they all have learned to use the bottle, but it does sometimes seem to take them a lot more effort than it does regular mice.
 

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Ive heard of them, but never seen one around here, so I doubt I would be able to find some.
I dont mind hands off pets, I just like watching animals. I used to have white footed deer mice.
I had degus that were highly inbred and some of them were just weird looking. 1 didint have ears, 1 had a normal ear and a small ear,etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The earless one is so tiny I can't really see his ears well and I waver back and forth as to whether or not they were chewed off (as in a dominance fight or something) or if he was born that way. Otherwise he seems healthy and active (crazy/high-strung like all of them, but active). C'est la vie.

The most common place to find them is reptile shows, oddly enough. Since they're so tiny and don't smell "domesticated" like regular mice, people breed them to feed finicky small snakes.
 

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They are quite easily available here - what you might call a 'common' exotic, if you know the right people. I love the photos of the pregnant doe(s). I remember when I looked after a couple for someone and I can imagine how they must be a bit like balls on legs (like my harvest mice). They are a species I would consider in the future; previously it was them or harvest mice and I went for harvest mice. Not that they take up much space :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks y'all. Yeah, they're comical little things to watch--if you can see them! I kinda spoil them. Each 10gallon tank has no fewer than seven things to climb under, through, or on, and they build elaborate tunnel nests so they're able to stay hidden basically as much as they want. When I took these pics, I moved a couple houses just to make them scurry about and sprinkled fresh food to entice them to stick around a few minutes so I could snap the camera. :oops:

Shiprat, you know what's weird? Even fully pregnant, she's not even the size of a golfball! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
zany_toon said:
Seeing your pictures really illustrates how tiny they are! The baby is way too cute :D
You know, a couple times I've wanted to put one beside a regular mouse and get pictures for size comparison but I've always had to refrain because I know the poor pygmy would become dinner in a heartbeat. :p
 

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Aww, aren't they cute! I've never seen them here in the US, but I'm sure someone has some, somewhere. They definitely aren't readily available or I'm certain I would have seen them in pet shops and the like. It's unfortunate that they can't be handled, though. :cry: Nonetheless, they look fun to watch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One reason you don't see them a lot is that they're technically illegal in many states. This is only a recent development so a lot of people have them and don't realize they're illegal. A wave of laws got passed through the country in the past 10 years or so making breeding and ownership of "native African mammals" illegal without special permits, aimed at preventing people from keeping things like cheetahs and baboons at home, and these laws consequently affect the African pygmy mouse (and the Gambian pouched rat, another rodent species formerly kept as a pet more often before the laws...and natal rats, too...).

I'd say that 99.999% of local police don't know anything about rodent biology and wouldn't know how to enforce the laws if they wanted to. In general they have much more important things to do with their time and resources, but their illegality keeps people from selling them in pet stores and thus they become rarer as only private breeders have them in most places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I scoop them into a drinking cup, put a lid on it (they can jump high) and clean the cage after I've rounded up every single one. I used to use a fish net to catch them, but I found the cup is less traumatic on them, though slower. :p

They're desert animals and as such they pee very, very little so thankfully they only need cleanings once monthly or every six weeks or so (depending on how big it is and how many there are). I use sani-chips as bedding because it more closely mirrors the sand they'd have in the wild. I could use sand, but I already have a giant barrel of sani-chips on hand.
 

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Jack Garcia said:
zany_toon said:
Seeing your pictures really illustrates how tiny they are! The baby is way too cute :D
You know, a couple times I've wanted to put one beside a regular mouse and get pictures for size comparison but I've always had to refrain because I know the poor pygmy would become dinner in a heartbeat. :p
I can see why you haven't done it :O Although it would be awesome to get them on opposite sides of a tank or a divided tank so that they could be side by side without running the risk of pygmy mice appetisers!!
 
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