House Mouse Australian House Mouse

The Australian house mouse is one of the few animals introduced to Australia that wasn't brought into the country intentionally. They arrived as stowaways on sailing ships.

Sometimes confused with the native Australian marsupial, the antechinus, the house mouse is a placental mammal that has adapted well to the Australian environment. Its flexibility in dietary habits and living conditions makes it second only to humans in adapting to the all Australian environment. It is found throughout Australia, in every habitat. The house mouse predominantly lives in urban areas in close proximity to humans feeding on human food waste (Their preferred food is cereals) and living in conks and crevices of man-made structures.

Is it a Mouse or Antechinus? How to Tell a Mouse from an Antechinus

A mouse has chisel-shaped front teeth while an antechinus has many small sharp teeth. An antechinus has five clawed toes on each front foot. A mouse, has four plus a clawless insignificant thumb. The situation is reversed on the back feet. The antechinus has four clawed toes and a mouse has five.

The house mouse has soft dense brownish-grey fur on its upper body and a lighter fur on its underside. It has large rounded ears, bulging eyes, and a pointed snout with two distinctive chisel-shaped incisors (front teeth). It is approximately 60–95mm long with a scaly tail of equal length. Its can weigh between 10–25gms.

House mice can breed very rapidly and have, at times reached plague proportions. It is, however, considered benign to the overall Australian ecosystem.

Related Article: Introduced Animals of Australia

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