MOUSE , in its
See also:original sense probably the name of the semi-domesticated
See also:house-mouse (
See also:Mus musculus), the type of the genus Mus and of the
See also:family Muridae . Zoologically, there is no distinction between mice and rats; these names being employed respectively for most or all of the smaller and larger " mouse-like " and "
See also:rat-like " representatives of the Muridae, whether they belong to the genus Mus or not . It is true indeed that in zoological nomenclature some of these are distinguished as " voles " (see
See also:VOLE), but this is not in
See also:accord with popular usage, where such creatures come under the designation either of
See also:water-rats or
See also:field-mice . The distinctive characters of the typical mice (and rats), i.e. those included in the genus Mus, are dealt with in the article
See also:RODENTIA . With the exception of
See also:Madagascar, the genus Mus ranges over practically the whole of the Old
See also:World, having indigenous representatives even in
See also:Australasia; while the house-mouse, with man's involuntary aid, has succeeded in establishing itself throughout the civilized world . The following is a brief
See also:notice of the
See also:species of true mice (that is to say, those generally included in the genus Mus) inhabiting the
See also:British Isles . These are three in number . M. musculus, the house-mouse, originally a native of Central
See also:Asia, has spread to all the inhabited parts of the globe . M. sylvaticus, the
See also:wood or long-tailed field-mouse, is a species
See also:common in many parts of England, often taking to barns and out-houses for shelter during the winter . It is of about the same
See also:size and
See also:pro-portions as M. musculus, but of a bright reddish-
See also:colour, with a pure
See also:white belly . M. minutes, the
See also:harvest-mouse, is the smallest of the
See also:European mice, seldom exceeding 22 or 3 in. in length; and of a yellowish-red colour, with comparatively
See also:short ears and tail . It lives entirely away from houses, commonly taking up its abode in wheat or
See also:fields, where it builds a
See also:round grass
See also:nest about the size of a cricket-
See also:ball, in which it brings up its
See also:young .
Its range extends from England to
See also:Japan . In regard to the first it is noteworthy that house-mice isolated on a small sandbank near
See also:Dublin have
See also:developed a
See also:special colouring of their own; also that distinct
See also:local varieties, M. musculus muralis and M. m. faeroensis, inhabit respectively St Kilda and the Faeroes . In Central Asia there exists a
See also:wild mouse (M. bactrianus), and likewise a second species (M. wagneri), with the habits of a house-mouse, both of which are closely allied to M. musculus; while there is a third kind (M. gentilis), also nearly related, in the deserts of
See also:North Africa . According to Major G . E . H . Barrett-
See also:Hamilton it is probable that M. bactrianus and M. musculus are respectively
See also:desert and house modifications descended from some Central Asian ancestor more or less nearly allied to M. wagneri . As regards the other two British species, it must suffice to say that there are several local races of each; Mus sylvaticus being represented by several in the British Isles, although there is but one British representative of M. minutus . It may be added that by some naturalists both M. sylvaticus and M. minutus are separated from Mus as Micromys . See G . E . H .
Barrett–Hamilton, "Note on the Harvest-Mice of the Palaearctic Region,"
See also:Annals and
See also:Magazine of Nat .
See also:History (
See also:April 1899) ; " On the Species of the genus Mus inhabiting St Kilda," Proc . Zool .
See also:Soc . (
See also:London, 1899) ; " On
See also:Geographical and Individual Variation in Ivius sylvaticus and its
See also:Allies," op. cit . (1900) ; W . E .
See also:Clarke, " On Forms of Mus musculus, with Description of a New Subspecies from the
See also:Faeroe Islands," Proc .
See also:Roy . Phys . Soc . (
See also:Edinburgh, 1904), vol. xv .
(R . L.*) MOUSE-
See also:BIRD (Du . Muisvogel), the name by which in Cape Colony and
See also:Natal the members of the genus Colius of M . J . Brisson are known—probably from their singular
See also:habit of creeping along the boughs of trees with the whole
See also:tarsus applied to the branch . By the earlier systematists, Colius was placed among the Fringillidae; but the investigations of J . Murie and A . H . Garrod on its
See also:internal structure showed that it was not a true Passerine, and it is now placed in a
See also:separate family, Coliidae, amongst Coraciiform birds, near the trogons and swifts (q.v.) . The Coliidae are small birds, with a rather Mouse-Bird . finch-like
See also:bill, a more or less crested
See also:head, a very long tail, and generally of a dun or
See also:slate-coloured plumage that sometimes brightens into blue or is pleasingly diversified with white or
See also:chestnut . They feed almost wholly on fruits, but occasionally take
See also:insects, in quest of which they pass in bands of fifteen or twenty from
See also:tree to tree .
Seven species are believed to exist, all belonging to the Ethiopian region (of which the Family is one of the most characteristic), and ranging from
See also:Abyssinia southwards . Three species inhabit Cape Colony . (A .
MOURNING (from the verb " to mourn," to be sorrowfu...
MODESTE PETROVICH MOUSSORGSKY (1835-1881)
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