Mouse on grass stalk at Deramakot – any clues?

I recently finished a couple week trip to Sabah focused mainly on mammals – particularly orangutan, gibbon, other primates, wild cats and civet (but I am interested in all wild life).

On a night drive at deramakot, we came across a little mouse that was sleeping on the end of a tall grass stalk.   The stalk would probably be 1.5 meters tall if straight, but mouse was at the very end, so the stalk was bent over, but still probably a meter off the ground.  I thought that was odd, and snapped a not very good picture.

A couple minutes later we saw another one, and I got a better picture.   One mouse doing this is odd, but two is a pattern.  So I thought well, this must be some well known behavior that I’ll look up when I get home.    Except I can’t find any mention of it.   The mouse that is frequently seen on stalks is a harvest mouse on wheat or other grain, but obviously that is not what is going on in Sabah.

Unfortunately the mouse is curled up in a ball and facing away from the camera so it may not be very diagnostic.   It looks to me like a Ranee Mouse (aka Lesser Ranee Mouse, Haeromys margarettae), but I defer to those with greater expertise.

Does anybody know about this?   Either the identity of the mouse, or the behavior of sleeping on grass stalks.

Here is the picture.


Post author

Nathan Myhrvold


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