Mice Acrobats

Harvest mice siblings hang out together.

These stunning and rare photos document the lives of the elusive harvest mice.  Louis Klein and Marie-Luce Hubert  spent 12 months photographing these tiny, acrobatic creatures in Alsace, France.  They weigh .2 ounces, or less than a penny.

This mom keeps watch from the safety of her nest made from reeds.

Inside her nest, a female regurgitates to feed her ten-day-old babies.

Mom rolls her baby carefully up a plant stem towards her nest.

Like a monkey, the harvest mouse has a prehensile tail, using it as a fifth leg. The tail is mainly used to keep balance while climbing among grass stems. That way, the mouse is free to use both his hands.

Heads as well as tails can be convenient for exploring an interesting object in the distance.

It takes three siblings to get a good, safe grip.

Reaching for a flower.

Getting a drink while balancing.

Having a grasshopper dinner while balancing.

Checking out a camera while balancing.

The photographers shot the maternal behavior in a studio using mice from captivity.  They wouldn’t have been able to get this in the wild without disturbing the mother and there was a danger a wild mother might have abandoned her babies.

When shooting in the wild, they didn’t need to hide. They just had to find a good spot, lay very still for a long time, and wait for the mice

Above photos via:

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2010/09/secret-life-of-harvest-mice.html

Photos: BARCROFT MEDIA

Thanks Daily Mail.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club is donating tennis balls to help The Wildlife Trust in Avon, Glamorgan and Northumberland, England provide safe places to nest.  The grain fields where Harvest Mice live are threatened by intensive farming techniques.

These mice are nesting in one of the tennis balls.