Dormice are famous for being sleepy. Their hibernation may last up to six months if the outside temperature remains cold. To accomplish this feat they store body fat during the summer months. Dormice are also unique among rodents in their lack of a cecum, that is the part of the gut used to ferment vegetable matter. These small, agile creatures are most at home in woodland, where they are well adapted to climbing trees. With a few exceptions in Africa and Asia, most of the 30 species of dormice live in Europe. The hazel dormouse is the only one native to the United Kingdom. The edible dormouse was introduced to Hertfordshire in the early 1900s.
Scientific name: Myoxidae
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
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The dormouse is a rodent of the family Gliridae (this family is also variously called Myoxidae or Muscardinidae by different taxonomists). Dormice are mostly found in Europe, although some live in Africa and Asia. They are particularly known for their long periods of hibernation. Because only one species of dormouse is native to the British Isles, in everyday English usage dormouse usually refers to one species (the hazel dormouse) as well as to the family as a whole.
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