Steppe lemming


Steppe lemming (Lagurus lagurus)

No suicide

They are known from children‘s books, video games and by their reputed altruistic behaviour: lemmings, which resort on mass migrations jumping off the cliffs into death voluntarily due to lack of food. All fairytales, which persist persistantly for more than half a century. But what is indeed correct is the fact, that these small relatives of voles may reproduce enormously under favourable conditions. This is important for predatory animals in these regions like snowy owls for example.

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Category: Mammal

Weight: 15 -40g

Size: 8-12cm, tail only 1cm

Age: 2-3 years

Sexually mature: 4 weeks

gestation period: 20days

food: Seeds, green parts of plants, roots, buds, flowers

Way of life: Steppe lemmings create burrows that reach 90 cm underground. They lead to a nest chamber, which has a diameter of about 10 cm and is padded with plant materials. They hide in these buildings during the day. At night they go in search of food consisting of all kinds of plant parts.

Danger: not endangered

distribution area