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Dormice

( Originally Published 1936 )

In appearance and habits the Dormice somewhat resemble the true squirrels, having large bushy tails, rather large eyes and ears, and short fore-legs. They make nests in hollow trees, where they sleep during the winter, only waking up at intervals to feed on provisions they have stored within easy reach of their nests.

Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius)

The common Dormouse is found in most parts of Europe, including the British Islands. It measures two and a half or three inches in length, the bushy tail being rather more than as long again, is reddish-brown above and white below, though the young ones are of a much darker colour. See Plate 16, Fig. 73. Dormice feed chiefly on nuts and seeds, sitting up on their haunches to eat from their fore-paws, and will also eat insects and other available animal food.

Loir (Myoxus glis)

Sometimes called the " Fat Dormouse," this animal is common in Southern Europe, and was considered a dainty by the ancient Romans. It is found in dry woods, especially among oak and beech trees, and grows to the length of four or five inches, the tail being about as long as the body. It is grey above, paler on the sides, and white below. See Plate 15, Fig. 70.



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