Gerbils are a family of rodents. There are about 110 species of gerbils. All gerbils are adapted to arid habitats. At one time, gerbils were known as wild rats. Most gerbils are diurnal, some are crepuscular. The gerbil is native to Central Asia, India, the Middle East, and Africa. The average length of a gerbil is usually between six and twelve inches, this includes the tail which makes up one half of the total length. The gerbil is also a common household pet.
late Miocene - Recent
Species of gerbil include:
- Fat-tailed gerbil, whose tail gets bigger when it eats.
- Great gerbil, the biggest type of gerbil
The Mongolian gerbil is one of around 110 species, but it is the most popular to have for a pet. The Mongolian gerbil was discovered in 1800 but was not studied until 1866. All domestic gerbils come from just a few gerbils from 1930.
A gerbil is smaller than a rat but bigger than a mouse. It depends on the species. From just mice and rats the gerbil has a tail with hair and it ends with a tassel. A gerbil is around 5-6 inches long but with the tail it is around 11-12 inches. There are bigger gerbils too like the Great gerbil who has a 7-8 inches long body and 7-8 inches long tail.