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dormouse

dormouse, name for Old World nocturnal rodents of the family Gliridae. There are many dormouse species, classified in several genera. Many resemble small squirrels. Dormice sleep deeply during the day, and European species hibernate for nearly six months of the year; their name is derived from the French dormir, "to sleep." Best known is the common dormouse, or hazelmouse, Muscardinus avellanarius, of Europe and W Asia, which resembles a mouse with a bushy tail. It is up to 4 in. (10 cm) long excluding the 2-in. (5-cm) tail, with rounded ears, large eyes, and thick, soft, reddish brown fur. Social animals, hazelmice build neighboring nests of leaves and grasses in bushes and thickets. They feed on insects, berries, seeds, and nuts, and are especially partial to hazelnuts. The European, or fat, dormouse, Glis glis, is the largest of the family reaching a length of 8 in. (20 cm) excluding the tail; it has a very thick coat of grayish fur and becomes extremely fat in autumn. It is found in forested regions of Europe and W Asia and lives in hollow trees. The ancient Romans raised it in captivity for food. There are many dormouse species in Africa. The spiny dormice of S Asia belong to a different rodent family, the Platacanthomyidae; they have spines mixed with their fur. The desert dormouse (Selevinia betpakolalensis) is placed in its own family, Seleviniidae. True dormice are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Gliridae.

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dormouse

dormouse the dormouse, some kinds of which are noted for spending long periods of hibernation, is used from the mid 16th century as the type of a sleepy or dozing person, and sleepiness is the overriding characteristic of the Dormouse in Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The first element of the word is associated with French dormir or Latin dormire ‘to sleep’.

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dormouse

dormouse Squirrel-like rodent of Eurasia and Africa that hibernates in temperate climates. Most dormice are active at night and sleep by day. They eat nuts, fruit, seeds, insects and other tiny animals. They were once bred for human food. Length: 10–20cm (4–8in), excluding tail. Family Gliridae.

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dormouse

dor·mouse / ˈdôrˌmous/ • n. (pl. dormice / ˈdôrˌmīs/ ) an agile mouselike rodent (family Gliridae) with a hairy or bushy tail, found in Africa and Eurasia. Some kinds are noted for spending long periods in hibernation.

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dormouse

dormouse Squirrel‐tailed, or edible dormouse, Glis glis; a Roman delicacy, dormice were kept in captivity and fed on acorns and chestnuts; then served stuffed with minced pork and dormouse meat.

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dormouse

dormouse XV. of unkn. orig.

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dormouse

dormousedouse, dowse, Gauss, grouse, house, Klaus, louse, Manaus, mouse, nous, Rouse, souse, spouse, Strauss •Windaus • madhouse • cathouse •Gasthaus • guardhouse • farmhouse •glasshouse • bathhouse • almshouse •penthouse • guesthouse • warehouse •playhouse •bakehouse, steakhouse •alehouse, jailhouse •gatehouse, statehouse •treehouse • wheelhouse • greenhouse •clearing house • meeting house •counting house • ice house •lighthouse, White House •doghouse • dollhouse •chophouse, flophouse •dosshouse •hothouse, pothouse •poorhouse, storehouse, whorehouse •courthouse • malthouse • Bauhaus •town house • outhouse • coach house •roadhouse • smokehouse • boathouse •oast house • schoolhouse •Wodehouse • cookhouse • clubhouse •nuthouse • beerhouse • powerhouse •summerhouse • barrelhouse •porterhouse, slaughterhouse, Waterhouse •workhouse • lobscouse • woodlouse •field mouse • titmouse • dormouse

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