oa African Zoology - Laboratory and field observations on Zelotomys woosnami (Rodentia: Muridae)

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Woosnam's desert rat, Zelotomys woosnomi, occurs in the arid regions of southern Africa. It is sparsely distributed, asocial and nocturnal and probably utilizes burrows of other rodents although it can dig well. It has a wide food spectrum ranging from seeds to flesh, and is an agile climber. The litter size of 4.7 and the rapid postnatal development are thought to be adaptations to a short breeding season in the summer months, and to capitalize on seasonally-rich resources in a potentially hostile environment. Minimum period between litters was 31 days.

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