Did you know the Southern grasshopper mouse howls at the moon? When the grasshopper mouse rears up on its hind legs, points its nose to the moon and lets loose an eerie howl, it’s a warning worth heeding.

Advertisement

The Southern grasshopper mouse might look like a common or garden mouse, but it is a fierce and bloodthirsty carnivore, dining out on insects, worms, snakes and even scorpions.

Yep that's right as research reveals that this rodent is unable to feel the pain that a sting would normally cause. It can somehow tolerate high doses of the scorpion’s venom, giving a brief lick to a wound before going in for the kill.

The function of its unusual howl remains something of a mystery, though it is thought to send a territorial message or signal victory in battle.

Southern grasshopper mouse facts 

Scientific name: Onychomys torridus

Size: 15cm from nose to tip of tail

Range: South-west USA and northern Mexico

Habitat: Arid badlands

Advertisement

Main image: National Park Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Authors

Henry Nicholls is an experienced science journalist and has written news, features, interviews, opinions and book reviews for many of the world’s leading popular science magazines, broadsheets and websites. He specialises in evolutionary biology, conservation and the history of biology.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement