NEBRASKAland October 2017

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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8 NEBRASKAland • OCTOBER 2017 A Mammal Brief By Lindsay Rogers Easily confused with other harvest mice, the plains harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys montanus) is distinguished by its small size (2-6 inches) and a dark stripe down its back. An additional identifying characteristic is its short tail, which is shorter than the head and body combined in length. The Latin name "Reithrodontomys" means "groove- toothed mouse" in reference to the single groove that runs down the back of each upper incisor. Like the western harvest mouse, it is found throughout Nebraska, but the plains harvest mouse is more limited in habitat and is generally found in grassland areas with highest densities in shortgrass prairies. Their nest is built of grasses and is often elevated in the stems of grasses or shrubs. Plains harvest mice eat a variety of foods including seeds, nuts, fruits and insects. They are known to store food in underground caches for use in extreme winter weather. Like all rodent species, the plains harvest mouse serves as a food source for raptors, snakes, owls and carnivorous mammals. ■ PHOTO BY KEITH GELUSO Lindsay Rogers is an outdoor education specialist with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. NEBRASKAland P H O T O C O N T E S T FOR COMPLETE CONTEST RULES AND ENTRY, GO TO...

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