Monday, 14 May 2012

Pocket Pets

Many children like to keep pets, they are great companions. It is fun taking care of them, bathing them, feeding them and taking them out for a walk. They are stress busters. Some like dogs and some cats,  there are many who like to keep birds but the cutest of them all are the pocket pets.

Pocket pets are small rodents which can be carried in a pouch and kept in a cage, most of them are playful at night.

You must have seen big rats in your building compound? Well these rats breed on garbage and solid waste. It’s not healthy to have them in the house because they can spread disease, eat electrical wires, and cause lot of damage in the house. These are wild rats.

But there is another breed of rats that can be tamed and domesticated. The significant difference is mainly in their coloring, while the wild rats are normally brown; the domesticated rats have different colors ranging from white to blue. They also have a longer lifespan because they are protected from predators and can be given a healthy diet of fruits and seeds, kept clean and given medical care when required. Rats fluff up their hair, hiss and squeal and move their tail around when defending their territory.

Fancy Rat 

Fancy rats come in a wide variety of colors and coat types and there exists several rat fancy groups worldwide. While some pet rats retain the agouti coloring of the wild brown rat (three tones on the same hair), others may be black based colors. Additionally, eye-color is considered a subset of coloring, and coat-color definitions often include standards for the eyes as many genes which control eye color will also affect the coat color. Color names can vary for more vague varieties, like lilac and fawn, while the interpretations of standards can fluctuate between (and even within) different countries or clubs

Sugar Glider

The sugar glider has asquirrel-like body with a long prehensile tail.  Males are larger than the females, and their length from the nose to the tip of the tail is about 24 to 30 cm (12–13 inches, the body itself is approx. 5–6 inches). A sugar glider has a thick, soft fur coat that is usually blue-grey; some have been known to be yellow, tan, or albino.  A black stripe is seen from its nose to midway of its back. Its belly, throat, and chest is of a cream color.

Gerbils are typically between sixand twelve inches (150 to 300 mm) long, including the tail which makes up approximately one half of their total length. One species, the Great Gerbil, originally native to Turkmenistan, can grow to more than 16 inches (400 mm). The average adult gerbil weighs approximately 2½ ounces.
Kangaroo Rats

Kangaroo rats are six-toed endotherms with large hind legs, small front legs and relatively large heads. Adults typically weigh between 70-170 g. The tails of kangaroo rats are longer than both their bodies and their heads. Another notable feature of kangaroo rats are their fur lined cheek pouches which are used for storing food. The coloration of kangaroo rats varies from cinnamon buff to dark gray, depending on the species.
Hamsters are typicallystout-bodied, with tails shorter than body length, and have small, furry ears, short, stocky legs, and wide feet. They have thick, silky fur, which can be long or short, colored black, grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a mix, depending on the species.

Chinchilla has a shortertail, a thicker neck and shoulders, and shorter ears.  Body length about 10-14 inches; tail is another 5-6 inches or so

The degu is a small rodent with a body length of 25.0 to 31.0 centimetres and a weight of 170 to 300 grams. It has yellow-brown fur above and creamy-yellow below, with yellow around the eyes and a paler band around the neck. It has a long, thin tail with a tufted black tip, dark sparsely-furred ears, and pale grey toes. Its fifth toe is small with a nail, rather than a claw, on the forefeet. Its hind feet are bristled. Its cheek teeth are shaped like figures-of-eight.

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