The Mongolian Gerbil
In 1954, Dr. Victor Schwentker brought nine Mongolian gerbils
(Meriones unguiculatus) to the USA for his scientific work;
most pet gerbils are descendants of these animals!
The Mongolian gerbil is a mammal that belongs to the order
of the Rodentia (rodents) and to the family of Cricetidae.
His Latin name is Meriones unguiculatus, this means clawed
warrior. He is most related to the hamsters.
In Asia and Africa, many species of gerbils are found, especially
in arid, barren and sandy steppe areas. In Northern-Africa,
Russia, Iran, Turkey, Sri Lanka, India, North-China and Mongolia.
The Mongolian Gerbil, of all gerbil species, is the most known
and especially suitable as a pet.
The Mongolian steppe, where the Mongolian gerbil lives,
is a biotope with harsh, extreme circumstances.
Due to the fact that not many animals can live under such
circumstances, the gerbil has not many natural enemies. To
escape from enemies, such as birds of prey, the gerbil is
able to jump very well. These jumping capabilities, which
come also handy in escaping attacking gerbil rivals, are a
result of the gerbils very strong hind legs.
More information on: http://www.gerbil-info.com/html/origin.htm