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Mammals of Southern Africa

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A Guide to the: Multimammate Mouse - Mastomys coucha

The Multimammate Mouse's name indicates that the female has many mammae or breasts - up to 12 pairs of them, which is far more than any other mammal can boast and quite enough to satisfy the hunger of the average litter of 8 - 10 babies. In the wild, they make their homes in the shelter of rocks, fallen leaves or tree roots, or they dig their own burrows, lining them with soft debris. They are nocturnal and their diet consists of grass and other seeds, wild fruit and insects. The female may have her young at any time of the year and if conditions are right, may do so regularly at intervals of 33 days. The number in litters varies widely, but under favourable conditions females can carry as many as 22 foetuses. This results in population explosions of the mouse in some areas causing destruction to farmlands and the possibility of disease, and is sometimes partially alieviated by cannibalism.

More facts about Multimammate Mice

  
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