Contents 1 Habitat 2 Behaviour 3 Reproduction 4 Gallery 5 References 6 External links

Habitat[edit] "Harvest, Wood Mouse" illustration from "British Mammals" by A. Thorburn, 1920 Wood mice inhabit forests, grasslands, and cultivated fields. Almost entirely nocturnal and terrestrial, wood mice burrow extensively, build nests of plants and live in buildings during harsh seasons. It is one of the most intensively studied species in the genus. In Europe it ranges north to Scandinavia and east to Ukraine. The wood mouse is also found in northwestern Africa and on many Mediterranean islands.[3]

Behaviour[edit] Wood mice are primarily seed eaters,[4] particularly seeds of trees such as oak, beech, ash, lime, hawthorn, and sycamore. If seeds are plentiful on the ground, they carry them back to their nests/burrows for storage. They may eat small invertebrates such as snails and insects, particularly in late spring and early summer when seeds are least available. They also consume berries, fruits, and roots. During the colder months, wood mice do not hibernate; however, during severe winter seasons they fall into a sort of torpor, a decrease in physiological activity. They are mainly active during the dark, and are very good climbers. While foraging, wood mice pick up and distribute visually conspicuous objects, such as leaves and twigs, which they then use as landmarks during exploration.[5] If a wood mouse is caught by its tail, it can quickly shed the end of it, which may never regrow.[6] Despite its name, it prefers hedgerows to woodland. To prevent predation, wood mice tend to forage in covered microsites.[7]

Reproduction[edit] The wood mouse has a breeding season from February to October in which multiple matings occur between males and females, resulting in scramble competition. Such behavioral characteristics result in sperm competition and multiple paternity litters. The society is polygynous with copulation resulting from scramble competition during reproductive periods. Males possess a sac known as the cauda epididymis, which stores sperm and lies underneath the scrotal protrusion. Temperature regulation ensures maximum sperm output. One interesting observation about the species, in particular the males, is the morphology of the spermatozoa. They develop falciform (sickle-shaped) heads after meiosis and before spermiation (release during ejaculation). The hook located at the tip of the head adheres to the surface of the head prior to deployment. Propidium iodide staining revealed that only the basal surface of the hook is of nuclear origin.[8] These apical hooks are deployed in female reproductive tract (mechanism responsible involved the remodeling of actin filaments in the hook).[8] Deployed apical hooks combine with apical hooks and flagella of other spermatozoa. The aggregates of spermatozoa that result form "mobile trains", which have experimentally been determined to possess better motility in the female reproductive tract.[8] The mobility of these mobile trains was also found to be influenced by premature acrosome reactions, altruistic acts performed by some spermatozoa for the benefit of other genetically similar gametocytes. This altruism follows a "green beard" mechanism in which spermatozoa discern the genetic similarity of surrounding gametocytes (such mechanisms are rare because they must code for a recognizable phenotype, as well as response mechanisms). Once spermatozoa of similar genotypes are identified, altruism genes are turned on to elicit a response that seeks to conserve the genes present in the other cell, even if it results in the destruction of the cell performing the action. The gestation period of wood mice is of 25–26 days and each female produces on average five young. The offspring become independent after about three weeks and become sexually active after two months.

Gallery[edit] Wood mouse A cherry stone hoard Play media Wood mouse in an attic

References[edit] ^ Schlitter & Van der Straeten (2004). "Apodemus sylvaticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 11 May 2006.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern ^ Wrobel, Murray. (2006). Elsevier's Dictionary of Mammals. Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-444-51877-4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Wood mouse ^ Fedriani, J. M. (2005). "Do frugivorous mice choose where or what to feed?". Journal of Mammalogy. 86: 576–586. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[576:dfmcwo];2.  ^ Stopka, P.; et al. (April 2003). "Way-marking behaviour: an aid to spatial navigation in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)". BMC Ecology. 3: 3. doi:10.1186/1472-6785-3-3.  ^ Goaman, K., Amery, H. (1983). Mysteries & Marvels of the Animal World, pg. 15. ^ Fedriani, J. M. 2005. ^ a b c Moore, Harry; et al. (2002). "Exceptional sperm cooperation in the wood mouse". Nature. 418 (6894): 174–177. doi:10.1038/nature00832. PMID 12110888. 

External links[edit] Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apodemus sylvaticus. Wikispecies has information related to Apodemus sylvaticus Apodemus sylvaticus in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History MSW Scientific Names Apodemus sylvaticus in the Catalogue of Life: 2007 Annual Checklist Apodemus sylvaticus in Fauna Europaea Apodemus sylvaticus in the Animal Diversity Web The wood mouse, an excellent article in French The market effect in the wood mouse, an excellent abstract of research done on grooming and reproduction in wood mouse v t e Extant species of subfamily Murinae (Aethomys–Chrotomys) Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordate Class: Mammalia Superorder: Euarchontoglires Order: Rodentia Family: Muridae Aethomys Division Aethomys (Bush rats) Bocage's rock rat (A. bocagei) red rock rat (A. chrysophilus) Grant's rock mouse (A. (Micaelamys) granti) Hinde's rock rat (A. hindei) Tete veld aethomys (A. ineptus) Kaiser's rock rat (A. kaiseri) Namaqua rock rat (A. (Micaelamys) namaquensis) Nyika rock rat (A. nyikae) Selinda veld rat (A. silindensis) Tinfields rock rat (A. stannarius) Thomas's rock rat (A. thomasi) Apodemus Division Apodemus (Old world field mice) striped field mouse (A. agrarius) Alpine field mouse (A. alpicola) small Japanese field mouse (A. argenteus) A. avicennicus Chevrier's field mouse (A. chevrieri) South China field mouse (A. draco) yellow-necked mouse (A. flavicollis) Himalayan field mouse (A. gurkha) Caucasus field mouse (A. hyrcanicus) Sichuan field mouse (A. latronum) Ural field mouse (A. microps) broad-toothed field mouse (A. mystacinus) Western broad-toothed field mouse (A. (mystacinus) epimelas) Ward's field mouse (A. pallipes) Korean field mouse (A. peninsulae) Black Sea field mouse (A. ponticus) Kashmir field mouse (A. rusiges) Taiwan field mouse (A. semotus) large Japanese field mouse (A. speciosus) wood mouse (A. sylvaticus) Ural field mouse (A. uralensis ) Steppe field mouse (A. witherbyi) Tokudaia (Ryukyu spiny rats) Muennink's spiny rat (T. muenninki) Ryukyu spiny rat (T. osimensis) Tokudaia tokunoshimensis (T. tokunoshimensis) Arvicanthis Division Arvicanthis (Unstriped grass mice) Abyssinian grass rat (A. abyssinicus) Sudanian grass rat (A. ansorgei) Blick's grass rat (A. blicki) Nairobi grass rat (A. nairobae) Neumann's grass rat (A. neumanni) African grass rat (A. niloticus) Guinean grass rat (A. rufinus) Desmomys Harrington's rat (D. harringtoni) Yalden's rat (D. yaldeni) Lemniscomys (Striped grass mice) Barbary striped grass mouse (L. barbarus) Bellier's striped grass mouse (L. bellieri) Griselda's striped grass mouse (L. griselda) Hoogstraal's striped grass mouse (L. hoogstraali) Senegal one-striped grass mouse (L. linulus) Buffoon striped grass mouse (L. macculus) Mittendorf's striped grass mouse (L. mittendorfi) single-striped grass mouse (L. rosalia) Rosevear's striped grass mouse (L. roseveari) typical striped grass mouse (L. striatus) Heuglin's striped grass mouse (L. zebra) Mylomys African groove-toothed rat (M. dybowskii) Ethiopian mylomys (M. rex) Pelomys (Groove-toothed creek rats) Bell groove-toothed swamp rat (P. campanae) Creek groove-toothed swamp rat (P. fallax) Hopkins's groove-toothed swamp rat (P. hopkinsi) Issel's groove-toothed swamp rat (P. isseli) least groove-toothed swamp rat (P. minor) Rhabdomys R. dilectus four-striped grass mouse (R. pumilio) Chrotomys Division Apomys Luzon Cordillera forest mouse (A. abrae) Camiguin forest mouse (A. camiguinensis) Luzon montane forest mouse (A. datae) large Mindoro forest mouse (A. gracilirostris) Mount Apo forest mouse (A. hylocoetes) Mindanao montane forest mouse (A. insignis) Mindanao lowland forest mouse (A. littoralis) small Luzon forest mouse (A. microdon) least forest mouse (A. musculus) long-nosed Luzon forest mouse (A. sacobianus) Archboldomys (Mount Isarog shrew rats) Mount Isarog shrew mouse (A. luzonensis) Sierra Madre shrew mouse (A. musseri) Cordillera shrew mouse (A. kalinga) Chrotomys (Luzon striped rats) Luzon striped rat (C. whiteheadi) Mindoro striped rat (C. mindorensis) Isarog striped shrew-rat (C. gonzalesi) blazed Luzon shrew rat (C. silaceus) Sibuyan striped shrew rat (C. sibuyanensis) Rhynchomys (Shrewlike rats) Banahao shrew rat (R. banahao) Isarog shrew rat (R. isarogensis) Mount Data shrew rat (R. soricoides) Tapulao shrew rat (R. tapulao) See also Colomys–Golunda Hadromys–Maxomys Melasmothrix–Mus Oenomys–Pithecheir Pogonomys–Pseudomys Rattus Stenocephalomys–Xeromys Otomys Others Taxon identifiers Wd: Q212185 ADW: Apodemus_sylvaticus ARKive: apodemus-sylvaticus BioLib: 20613 EoL: 1178950 Fauna Europaea: 305586 Fossilworks: 233639 GBIF: 2437760 iNaturalist: 45562 ITIS: 585143 IUCN: 1904 MSW: 13001221 NCBI: 10129 Retrieved from "" Categories: IUCN Red List least concern speciesOld World rats and miceMammals of AsiaRodents of North AfricaRodents of EuropeMammals of RussiaMammals of TurkeyMammals of IcelandMammals described in 1758Magnetoreceptive animalsHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from March 2009All articles needing additional referencesArticles with 'species' microformatsUse dmy dates from November 2011Articles containing video clips

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