T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Mouse (Mus musculus)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Murinae
Genus: Mus
Species: M. musculus
Scientific name: Mus musculus 
Common names: house mouse, kiore-iti (Maori), wood mouse

A Global Invasive Species
Mus musculus (the house mouse) probably has a world distribution more extensive than any mammal, apart from humans. Its geographic spread has been facilitated by its commensal relationship with humans which extends back at least 8,000 years. They do considerable damage by destroying crops and consuming and/or contaminating food supplies intended for human consumption. They are prolific breeders, sometimes erupting and reaching plague proportions. They have also been implicated in the extinction of indigenous species in ecosytems they have invaded and colonised. An important factor in the success of Mus musculus is its behavioural plasticity brought about by the decoupling of genetics and behaviour. This enables M. musculus to adapt quickly and to survive and prosper in new environments.
Description A long tail (60-105mm - approximately equal to its head and body length of 65-95mm), large prominent black eyes, round ears and a pointed muzzle with long whiskers. Adults 12-30 g. Wild mice are commonly light brown to black; belly fur white, brown, or grey. Colour of tail also lighter below than above. Occurs in: agricultural areas, coastland, natural forests, planted forests, range/grasslands, riparian zones, ruderal/disturbed, scrub/shrublands, urban areas. 
Occurs in: agricultural areas, coastland, natural forests, planted forests, range/grasslands, riparian zones, ruderal/disturbed, scrub/shrublands, urban areas Habitat description As commensal animals, house mice (Mus musculus) live in close association with man — in his houses, outbuildings, stores, and other structures. Where conditions permit, feral mice may be found in fields, along watercourses, and in other places where vegetation is dense enough to afford concealment. These feral animals make runways through the grasses.
General impacts House mice (Mus musculus) are major economic pests, consuming and despoiling crops and human foodstuffs, and have also been implicated in extirpations and/or extinctions of indigenous species in ecosytems they have invaded and colonised which are outside their natural range. They are host to a range of diseases and parasites infectious to humans.  It was thought that the house mouse posed little risk to sea birds. Recent research and video evidence from Gough island in the South Atlantic Ocean, has shown conclusively that mice are responsible for widespread breeding failures and that predation of chicks by mice occurs at levels that are probably driving population decreases.
The feild Mouse Apodemus. flavicollis is a different colour see photo at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: Apodemus.flavicollis.jpg They have brown fur on their backs and white on the underside with a distinctive complete band of yellow fur around the neck.

View the video at the bottom of this page of a mouse attack on an albatross chick

Mouse caught on weeding working bee on the Te Henui walkway

 
 
This is video of of a mice attacking an albatross chick  It was recorded by Ross Wanless and Andrea Angel on Gough Island in the South Atlantic. 
    



Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/