Name: Common Dormouse
Scientific name: Muscardinus avellanarius
Nature Stars: 90
A surprisingly small mammal, only about 8cm long with a fluffy tail that is 6cm long. The Common Dormouse is also known as the Hazel Dormouse. Agile climbers and mainly nocturnal, dormice are very rarely seen. They live in deciduous woodland, hedgerows and dense scrub and can spend their entire lives up in the branches without ever touching the ground. The Common Dormouse eats buds, hazel nuts, berries and invertebrates. Common Dormice build summer nests of stripped honeysuckle bark in which the female will give birth to up to seven young. They hibernate during the winter months, in a dense nest built in a tree cavity or similar sheltered place.
Go to the dormouse's Feature Creature page for more fantastic facts!
How to identify: If seen well, the Common Dormouse can be told by its gingery-brown fur, large black eyes and fluffy tail. They are much smaller than squirrels.
Where: Southern England and Wales
Fantastic fact: Dormouse are so sleepy, they will hibernate for 7 months of the year!
Photograph credit: Ian Pratt