The Dormouse, No Not that One
Well, maybe a little. Yes, pun intended. In the rodent section of the animal kingdom, a dormouse is in the Gliridae family. These little mice live in Europe, Asia, and Africa. As rodents go, they have quite a remarkable ability that puts them among only a handful of other mammals—hibernation.
What Say You, Mr. Dormouse?
Many may know about a Dormouse from another perspective, as a character in a celebrated part of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Specifically, the chapter titled “A Mad Tea Party” could be a literary device, a play on words, and a child’s tea party.
Dormice or Dormouse?
Dormice probably get their name from their hibernation abilities. For example, when first identified, they were probably named “mice that could go dormant.” Lewis Carroll’s use of this specific type of mouse probably contributes to calling a group of dormouse dormice.
Dormice Fun Facts
- In everyday English usage (mainly in the U.K.), speaking about dormice is the same as speaking about mice in other parts of the world, for example, the U.S. In other words, dormice are rodent pests.
- Dormice hibernate as a way to combat cold temperatures in colder climates. They can sleep for six months or longer.
- These sleepy heads also store food nearby just in case they must wake up, eat a bit, then go back to sleep.
The dormouse is a symbol of adaptability and survival.