dcsimg

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

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Maximum longevity: 7 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived for 7 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Behavior

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Little research has been conducted on communication in Tatera indica. However, like most mammals, they communicate through auditory, chemical, visual, and tactile signals. As nocturnal rodents it is likely that they perceive their environment largely through auditory and chemical signals, as well as using their vibrissae to sense tactile stimuli.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Conservation Status

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Tatera indica is not listed by CITES or the IUCN, they are the most common species of gerbil in the Indian subcontinent and are abundant throughout their range.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Benefits

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Tatera indica are crop pests, especially in areas where grain is stored. The animals will feed on seeds, sprouts, mature plants, ears of corn, and saplings in orchards.

The presence of this species in villages results in transfer of fleas from wild to domestic rodents, which may be partly responsible for the transmission of bubonic plague in and around India.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease); crop pest

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Benefits

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These gerbils consume large quantities of insects which are potential agricultural pests. Indian gerbils are also hunted for food in southern India.

Positive Impacts: food ; controls pest population

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Associations

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The role of Tatera indica in the ecosystem is not well understood. However, it is clear that, through their abundance and food habits, they significantly impact populations of plants and arthropods throughout their range. They also serve as an important prey base for birds of prey and other small to medium-sized predators. Their burrowing activities aid in soil turnover and the re-distribution of soil nutrients.

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Trophic Strategy

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The diet of Indian gerbils consists of grasses, leaves, roots, and grains. They also eats grubs, insects, and nestling ground birds. T. indica store grain in their burrows for consumption in the dry season and move on to roots and fruits of plants when the stores have been consumed. During the wet season insect availability increases and the proportion of insects and other arthropods in their diet rises to as high as 40%. This species has also been known to kill and eat smaller rodents and other mammals. Cannibalism on young is common in both captivity and the wild.

Animal Foods: birds; mammals; insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: omnivore

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Distribution

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The range of Tatera indica includes India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, as far west as Syria, and north to Afghanistan and Nepal.

Biogeographic Regions: palearctic ; oriental

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Habitat

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Tatera indica individuals prefer sandy plains and grasslands that allow extensive burrowing. They will dig extensive burrows with chambers for resting, food storage, and sleeping. The depth of a burrow depends on the surrounding soil composition and season. These gerbils are generally not found in areas with very low rainfall or cold temperatures. They occupy almost any kind of habitat if there is enough suitable food and are found frequently near agricultural fields. These are perhaps the most common gerbil species throughout much of their range.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland

Other Habitat Features: agricultural

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Life Expectancy

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A captive Tatera indica lived for 7 years. In the wild, however, most individuals don't survive their first year of life and adults probably live only a few years.

Range lifespan
Status: captivity:
7 (high) years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
7.0 years.

Average lifespan
Status: captivity:
7.0 years.

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Morphology

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Tatera indica is one of the largest species in the murid subfamily Gerbillinae. Body mass ranges from 100 to 227 grams, and body length from 15 to 17 centimeters. Color ranges from reddish brown to fawn. Thick fur covers the body but the tail hair is sparse. A small tuft of black hair is found at the tip of the tail. The tail is approximately one half the body length of the animal and has a light brown band on each side. The soles of the feet are hairless and pigmented, as in other members of the genus Tatera, while the ears are also naked and elongated.

Range mass: 100 to 227 g.

Range length: 150 to 170 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.422 W.

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Associations

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These gerbils are primarily preyed on by birds of prey, especially owls. Jackals, snakes, lizards, cats, and foxes will also eat these gerbils. Their primary means of escaping predation are nocturnality, escaping to their burrows, and heightened senses that allow them to detect predators. They are also very fast and can leap meters into the air when surprised.

Known Predators:

  • owls (Strigiformes)
  • hawks and falcons (Accipitridae)
  • golden jackals (Canis aureus)
  • snakes (Serpentes)
  • monitor lizards (Varanus)
  • foxes (Vulpes)
  • domestic cats (Felis silvestris)
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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Reproduction

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Males and females of this species live apart. The relationship between the sexes is currently not known.

It is not yet known whether mating occurs above or below ground in burrows. Duration of the estrous cycle was found to be 4.5 days in the laboratory. The gestation period for T. indica ranges from 21 to 30 days, with litter size ranging from 1 to 10 young, with 5 to 6 being the most common number of young per litter. Young Indian gerbils are independent as early as 21 days of age and reach sexual maturity as early as 10 weeks of age. Females attain sexual maturity earlier than males.

Breeding interval: Indian gerbils can breed multiple times throughout the year, the interval is not well known.

Breeding season: Indian gerbils breed throughout the year, with peaks in February, July, August, and November.

Range number of offspring: 4 to 10.

Range gestation period: 21 to 30 days.

Range time to independence: 21 (low) days.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 10 (low) weeks.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 10 (low) weeks.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

Average birth mass: 3 g.

Average number of offspring: 5.4.

Parental care in T. indica has not been described. However, as in all mammals, females nurse and care for their young until they reach independence. The young are born in a relatively helpless state in a nest chamber in a burrow. Their eyes open at 14 days old.

Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care

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Mott, S. 2004. "Tatera indica" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Tatera_indica.html
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Stephanie Mott, Michigan State University
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Barbara Lundrigan, Michigan State University
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Indian gerbil

provided by wikipedia EN

The Indian gerbil (Tatera indica) also known as "antelope rat", is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.

It is found in southern Asia from Syria to Bangladesh.[2]

It is the only species in the genus Tatera. Members of the genus Gerbilliscus have historically been placed in Tatera.

Description

Head and body length is 17–20 cm. Tail is 20–21 cm. Dorsal surface including entire head is light brown or light brown with rusty wash. Underparts are white. Tail fully furred, dark blackish brown with grayish sides and prominent black tuft on tip. Fur on body soft, sparse underneath; tail fur is longer. Eyes are large and prominent. Bounding gait is distinguished when running.[3]

Reproduction

Both the sexes of this species lives apart. The relation between male and female gerbils is not known yet.[4]

Diet

Omnivorous. Known to eat grains, seeds, plants, roots, insects, reptiles and even small birds and mammals it can catch.[3]

References

  1. ^ Kryštufek, B.; Shenbrot, G.; Sozen, M.; Molur, S. (2017). "Tatera indica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T21514A22411969. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T21514A22411969.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Red List of Bangladesh : Volume 2 : Mammals" (PDF). Portals.iucn.org. Retrieved 22 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b Yapa, A.; Ratnavira, G. (2013). Mammals of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka. p. 1012. ISBN 978-955-8576-32-8.
  4. ^ Stephanie Mott. "ADW: Tatera indica: INFORMATION". Animaldiversity.org. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
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Indian gerbil: Brief Summary

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The Indian gerbil (Tatera indica) also known as "antelope rat", is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.

It is found in southern Asia from Syria to Bangladesh.

It is the only species in the genus Tatera. Members of the genus Gerbilliscus have historically been placed in Tatera.

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