Exciting Facts About Gerbils You Never Knew

1. Their fur protects them from sunburns

Their entire body, from head to tail, is covered in fur. In the wild, this eukaryotic adaption shields them from sunburn. 

2. Gerbils wash their fur using sand

In captivity, it’s recommended to provide your gerbil with an adequate amount of chinchilla dust that they can roll around in to replicate the sand they would use to keep clean.

3. They were known as ‘desert rats.’

Gerbils were referred to as ‘desert rats’ before becoming a popular companion animal in North America and Europe.

4. Humans can’t hear most gerbil vocalizations

Humans can only hear sounds up to about 20 kHz, and most gerbil vocalizations are up in the 50 kHz range, far past what most humans can reasonably hear.

5. Gerbils are very involved parents

Young gerbils spend a long time with their parents. Both the mother and father of their young uns will take meticulous care to raise capable adults.

6. There are over 40 different gerbil coat colorings

In captivity, gerbils can present a wide variety of coat colorings, including black, red, and golden. There are more than 40 coat pigmentations present in the gerbil population.

7. Gerbils are omnivores

Gerbils are omnivorous creatures that can consume and digest both plant and animal matter.

8. There are over 100 species of gerbils

The gerbil we know and keep as a pet is the Mongolian gerbil, but there are more gerbils than just that one! There are 110 recognized species of gerbils in the world.