A mouse named after “Star Trek” actor Patrick Stewart is formally the world’s oldest in captivity, a US zoo has introduced.
Pat the Pacific pocket mouse — the smallest species of mouse in North America — bagged the title when he hit 9 years and 209 days on Wednesday.
Officers from the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance confirmed Pat was nonetheless going sturdy on Thursday.
The tiny creature — whose longevity was acknowledged by Guinness World Information — weighs lower than six grams (a fifth of an oz).
And in contrast to his namesake, who as Captain Jean-Luc Picard commanded the Starship Enterprise, Pat the Pacific pocket mouse is roofed in hair.
The species acquired its title due to pouches in its cheeks, that are used to hold meals and nesting supplies.
The animals are present in coastal scrublands, dunes and riverbanks near the Pacific Ocean.
Human encroachment left the species struggling and it was regarded as extinct till a tiny inhabitants was found in 1994.
Consultants at San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, whose breeding program has helped deliver the Pacific pocket mouse again from the brink, stated the little animals are important to ecosystems as a result of they distribute seeds and encourage plant progress by means of their digging.
“This acknowledgement can be an emblem of appreciation for species that individuals do not know a lot about as a result of they are not charismatic megafauna, however are simply as vital for ecosystem operate,” stated Debra Shier of the wildlife alliance.
“These missed species can typically be present in our personal backyards — just like the Pacific pocket mouse.”
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)
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