and body length of M.unguiculatus range from 95-180 mm
and tail lengths are 100-193 mm. Weights of captive individuals
have been recorded at 50-55 grams for females and 60 grams for
males. The pelage is soft and fairly dense with a wide variety
of color variations. Upperparts can be clear yellowish, sandy
gray to brown. Underparts are lighter ranging from buffy white
or pale gray.
M.unguiculatus is found in a variety of habitats including
clay and sandy deserts, bush country, arid steppes, low plains,
cultivated fields, grasslands, and mountain valleys. Nests are
constructed in soft soil and have one or two storerooms next
to the main burrow leading to a simple system of tunnels about
.45 - .60 meters underground. M.unguiculatus is active
both day and night year round in temperatures both extremely
hot and extremely cold. They neither hibernate nor estivate.
diet consists of green vegetation, roots, bulbs, seeds, cereals,
fruits, and insects.
Estrus cycles last 4-6 days and gestation lasts from 24-30 days,
but may actually be from 19-21 days. Litters range from 1-12
young but are ususally 4-7 offspring. Birthweight is 2.5 grams,
eyes open at 16 - 20 days and are weaned at 20-30 days. Sexual
maturity is reached at 65-85 days and females can reporduce
until they are as old as 20 months. Males and sometimes juveniles
from previous litters assist in the raising of the new offspring,
though males are also thought to interfere at times with the
maternal care of the babies resulting int heir loss.
M.unguiculatus occurs in Mongolia and adjacent regions
of Siberia (Transbaikalia) and of China, from E Gansu, N Ningxia,
N Shaanxi, N Shanxi, and Hebei, through C and N Nei Mongol and