The worldwide distribution of extant jerboa species is extensive throughout the arid and desert regions of North Africa and Central Asia. The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa Jaculus jaculus however, is found in North Africa, throughout the Arabian Peninsula, and as far north as Southwestern Iran. Although several species of jerboas have been designated as vulnerable or threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), J. jaculusis considered of “least concern”.
They are mouse-like in appearance with large eyes and ears with brown and grey fur with a pale coloured belly. The animal is very small at only 95 to 110 millimeters long and 43 to 73 grams in weight, averaging 55 grams. The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa can jump one meter from a standing position and 1.5 meters at top speed and has been recorded travelling up to ten kilometers in one evening in search of food.
This is due to the animal’s long bald tail except for a clump of fur at the end for balance and huge feet with a posture and stride that is similar to that of a kangaroo. They live in burrows in the sand, sleeping during the day and feeds on seeds, grass, grains and even some insects at night. The species dies nit hibernate and can live up to four years in the wild.
Their main predators are foxes and snakes.