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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd been reading Rainsong's Molly & Phoebe thread which lead to a discussion on Tail Rattling.
It reminded me of how my last "batch" of mice all used to do it- Millie, her babies Mia, Moo & Minnie and Millies sister Lily. the funny thing was, although I have heard that mice are supposed to Tail rattle when they feel threatened, these mice were so laid back they were almost horizontal! and incredibly friendy- you couldn't walk past the cage without one of them rushing up to see you( cupboard love though i'm sure!)
Anyhow, I managed to film it on camera(really bad quality though, sorry). Moo is the rattler in the background, Mia is the one trying to get in on the act!
Perhaps it's wrong to laugh if they really are feeling threatened but i just thought it was kinda cute and very funny :lol: Hope this doesn't make me too bad a person :oops: :lol:
 

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I have no idea why, but haha that's so funny!!
My champagne buck used to do that, along with shuffling his bum on the floor, then he'd climb out the cage door and greet me :lol:
 

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Both tail rattling and bum dragging are territorial behavior. Tail rattling expresses annoyance and agitation; bum dragging is almost exclusively male behavior, as they are depositing their scent to mark their territory.
 

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I had a petstore male who used to do it all the time, then lunge at me and nip (but never bite) me. It was both cute and funny, although I'm sure in his little head he was very seriously offended that I'd "enter" his territory! I think whether or not a mouse will be seen to engage in this behavior is related directly to the mouse's level of docility and how used it is to being around people, as well as tail size.

For mice who have more "high strung" temperaments, they become more nervous around people and will rattle their tails to say "GO AWAY!" They also have smaller tails (similar to a wild mouse's tail) which makes this even possible. In my experience, these mice are also the most intelligent and resourceful: the mice who rattle their tails seem to be the same ones who weave large, intricate nests.

Larger, more docile mice, on the other hand, seem to be more "stupid" and so used to people they don't even bother to get offended at territorial intrusion, and their tails are so heavy and long I doubt they could rattle them the same way even if they wanted to. This docility and tractability is very heavily bred toward in show mice and often gives mice who can only be described as quite "dopey."

This is a very interesting phenomenon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't know that male mice would do the bum dragging thing although it makes sense even if it probably looks a little funny :lol:

Jack, interesting that you should say about the nest building traits of mice, my pet shop mice(the rattlers) used to build brilliant nests,constantly! however my new mice from show stock are absolutely useless at making nests,they don't even shred the paper in their cage, if it's a big piece they just drag it into a corner,whole and then just sit under it,they don't even attempt to shred it up! :roll: What they lack in brains they make up for in beauty! Well I think so anyway but then I might be biased ;)
 

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Hehe, I have the same theory! :D

A lot of people have noticed, this, though. As the mice become less and less like they are in the "wild" (in terms of appearance and behavior), they "forget" the things their ancestors (or their current wild relatives) know.

Come to think of it, I'm sure the same thing could be demonstrated with dogs and wolves. While the dog is very smart, I bet there are things that wolves figure out much more quickly than domestic dogs. This would also account for the varying degrees of intelligence among and between different breeds.
 

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Well, the bum dragging isn't all that noticeable as they let their lumps hang out down and low in what I call the 'locked and loaded' position. When allowed to hang all out, the testicles are the shape and size of dry kidney beans and are lose to the floor of the cage without much change in posture. Young bucks so this almost all the time with extra attention to the water bottle. I hate handling those bottles....sticky...ewww.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As a Pet mousie keeper not a breeder Iv'e always felt that I'm missing out on so much in the Mousie world, now I'm not so sure :lol: :lol:
 

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You know, when Molly did that the first time I was scared she was going to come chew my hand up again. Instead she just ran off again.

It really is weird looking, a real "Have to see it to understand it" sort of thing. There's just no way to describe it and really do it justice. Jack, you may be right- both my girls are smaller, with smaller whippy (is that even a word? LOL) tails. Molly, however, hasn't done any real nesting since I got her- instead it's Phoebe who tries to cram every bit of bedding into the igloo if I leave the side-box empty. Molly, nine times out of ten, sleeps on top of the igloo if molly hasn't nested for them! And it looks so uncomfortable too!

Boggit, if you're missing out then I am too :)
 
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