TIME animals

Endangered Hopping Mouse Caught on Film for the First Time

Scientists know little about the rare species

A rare Australian rodent has been captured on film for the first time.

The northern hopping mouse, a tiny creature with a 4-inch body and 6-inch tail that hops like a kangaroo, is endangered and extremely rare, Newsweek reports. Scientists know very few details about the mice. The rodent’s habitat is restricted to a small part of northern Australia, and its size, speed and nocturnal habits make it very hard to catch or study.

Rebecca Diete, a postdoctoral student at the University of Queensland, made it her mission to find and document the mouse. A year of obsession finally paid off when she encountered one on a large island called Groote Eylandt. Her video shows a female building an underground burrow.

Her research has helped fill in a lot of blanks about the species. Unfortunately, some of her findings indicate the little mice may have a much smaller habitat range than scientists estimated, making them more endangered than previously thought.


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