jerboa

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n jerboa mouselike jumping rodent
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Jerboa (Zoöl) Any small jumping rodent of the genus Dipus, esp. Dipus Ægyptius, which is common in Egypt and the adjacent countries. The jerboas have very long hind legs and a long tail.☞ The name is also applied to other small jumping rodents, as the Pedetes Caffer, of the Cape of Good Hope.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n jerboa A rodent quadruped of the family Dipodidœ, subfamily Dipodinœ, and especially of the genus Dipus; a gerbil, or jumping-mouse of the old world. There are several species, of three genera, Dipus, Alactaga, and Platycercomys. The best-known, and the one to which the native name has special reference, is Dipus œgypticus, a curious and interesting animal of the deserts of Africa, living in communities in extensive and intricate underground galleries. The hind legs of the annual are extremely long, and so great is its power of jumping that it seems hardly to touch the ground as it bounds along. Its saltatorial power is proportionally greater than that of the kangaroo, since the latter animal is aided by its stout tail. The tail of the jerboa is longer than the body, very slender, and tufted at the end, and may serve as a balance during the flying leaps. The fore feet are very short; the ears are large and rounded. The size of the animal is 6 or 8 inches without the tail, and the general aspect is that of the rat or mouse, the jerboas belonging to the myomorphic group of rodents.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Jerboa jėr-bō′a a genus of small rodent quadrupeds, remarkable for the length of their hind-legs and their power of jumping.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Ar. yarbū‘,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ar. yarbū‛.

Usage

In literature:

Mr. Browne saw a great many red kangaroos (foxy), some very young, others very large; and he chased a jerboa, which escaped him.
"Expedition into Central Australia" by Charles Sturt
A jerboa appeared with a ring in its ear.
"Moorish Literature" by Anonymous
Discovery of the Jerboa in Australia.
"Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 2 (of 2)" by Thomas Mitchell
Myriads of Cicada, and the Jerboa rat.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
The jerboa is abundant near the Khabour.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 2. (of 7): Assyria" by George Rawlinson
The antelope, the wild boar, the wolf, the fox, the jackal, the porcupine, and the jerboa are common.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia" by George Rawlinson
Squirrels, Marmots, Jerboas, Mole-Rats, Rats, Mice, Voles, Porcupines, and Hares.
"Natural History of the Mammalia of India and Ceylon" by Robert A. Sterndale
A most unusual family of skilled house-builders are the brush-tailed rat-kangaroos, or Jerboa kangaroos of Australia and Tasmania.
"The Human Side of Animals" by Royal Dixon
As I always regretted the untimely death of my pet jerboa, I thought these little rodents would fill his place, and prove amusing pets.
"Wild Nature Won By Kindness" by Elizabeth Brightwen
In the leaping kangaroo and jerboa a shortening of the arms and lengthening of the legs appear.
"Man And His Ancestor" by Charles Morris
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In poetry:

Soft sound the gophers' calls, and, ne'er the stillness waking,
Jerboas now appear - two or perhaps just one.
They ghost-like haunt the plain, great leaps across it taking,
And all at once are gone…
"As in a boundless sea in darkening fields and meadows" by Ivan Bunin