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VOTE for a species to be sequenced for the first time ever!
Unknown but in decline by a third since 2000 according to national nest box counts and The Great Nut Hunt.
Unknown but my fatter cousin, the Edible Dormouse, had their mitochondrial genome sequenced and it was 16,602 bp.
From what I know Eozostrodon is the oldest mammal ever to be discovered and just like me, was a tree dwelling rodent! How cool would it be if we found out we have even closer relatives?
I should be sequenced because...: Our homes, food and family is all getting smaller and smaller. Maybe if you looked inside of our genes we could get bigger again!
One sentence about me...: I may be fluffy and I may be small, but I am one mysterious mammal.
My name is slightly deceptive as I neither exclusively live in or eat hazel, certainly not very common and I am not even a mouse; more accurately a tiny squirrel. The name actually refers to Dormir the French word for sleep. We hibernate throughout winter but if you happened to disturb one of us, you would find we are all curled up in a perfect spiral of fluff and sound asleep! The elusiveness of my species formed the belief that we were limited to hazel woodlands, however humans eventually worked out that we love a variety of bio diverse habitats such as forests and hedges.
We are now only found in the South of England after being wiped out of other areas and we want to go back so some of us were reintroduced into the Midlands and Yorkshire about five years ago.
Our distinctive bushy tails, ginger fur and beady black eyes distinguishes us from our close relative the Edible (or Fat) Dormouse (Glis glis). They were introduced in 1902 and out competed us for food and habitats! Their name is far more appropriate as they are much larger than us and considered a delicacy in Slovenia. They were even once farmed for food during the Roman times in England!
The essential insight into evolutionary development from sequencing a genome may give the abundance of the species hope in the UK. Conservation genetics is vital to assist in the re-population of a species for a multitude of reasons. If we could identify some family similarities, we could be better supported as an iconic species becoming common once again.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Adorable arboreal mysterious....
What's it like where you live?
I love fields with long grass, forests and hedges that have lots and lots of different plants!
What's your favourite food?
Berries, nuts (especially hazel) and fruits.
What's your family life like?
When I have babies I love them very much, they need all the help they can get. But once they are big enough to look after themselves I like to keep myself to myself.
Are you endangered or threatened by anything?
Very endangered in my native homeland, the UK. Deforestation and destruction of resources like food has left me vulnerable. I sleep a lot, and whenever I wake up there seems to be a little less out there for me. Some other forest neighbours think I am tasty, like weasels and stouts, but I know my way around the trees far better than them.
What's the best thing about you/interesting fact?
My most famous relative appeared as a particularly sleepy member of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in Alice in Wonderland!
The champion of this species is...
Bushra Abu-Helil B.Sc. (Hons) Zoology. I am currently working as an Associate Scientists for Cancer Research UK but, after science, animals are my passion!