Trivia question for Aug-31-2011
Olivia’s turn today and she wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the kind birthday wishes. Here is a special little critter that has a peculiar name. They are the largest and most widespread of all their species types.
It has a generally squirrel-like body, with small ears, short legs, and large feet. Its fur is grey to grayish-brown in color over most of the body, with a clear line separating off the white to pale buff underparts. They are capable of limited autotomy; if another animal grasps the tail, the skin breaks easily and slides off the underlying bone, allowing the rodent to escape. The exposed vertebrae then break off and the wound heals over, forming a fresh brush of hair.
So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what this rodent is and what are the two most common names used to describe these guys? Also, tell us what the Romans used to do with these rodents in front of their dinner guests?
Good Luck 😉
Wow, Olivia picked out another hard one apparently. The rodent we featured is Fat Dormouse. Their most common names are the fat dormouse (because they feed frenziedly before retiring to hibernate over winter). They are also known as the edible dormouse (because they were bred and fattened for eating by the Romans). They are the largest of all dormice, being around 5.5 to 7.5 inches in head-body length, plus a 4.3 to 5.1 in. tail. It normally weighs from 4.2 to 5.3 oz, but may almost double in weight immediately prior to hibernation.
Romans used to weigh their fattened dormice in front of their dinner-guests as a form of bragging. They are still considered a gourmet dish in some parts of Europe. Here is more on these cubby little guys: Edible Dormouse
Thanks for playing along 😉