Mice (the plural of mouse) are small herbivorous rodent mammals. There are many species of mice including non related mammals such as dormice. The common house mouse Mus musculus is widely distributed worldwide, having accompanied human travelers to many countries beyond its natural range. Typically mice will feed on seeds and other plant material, though mousetraps for the house mouse are usually baited with cheese.
Mice and mankind
- Mice, like rats, can be a serious agricultural pest, damaging growing crops and eating stored grain.
- Again, mice are often blamed as a disease vector for certain diseases including bubonic plague better attributed to rats, or rather the fleas borne by certain species of rat.
- The laboratory mouse is widely used as an experimental organism in biomedical research. There are many specialised breeds, such as the nude mouse, a hairless mutant strain used in cancer research and the Onken mouse, a mouse bred to have cancerous cells from birth.
- Mice are commonly kept as pets, and are also bred as food items for other, carnivorous pet animals.
- A mouse named Reepicheep features in C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia.
Mice in the Bible
Mice are mentioned several times in the Bible; Leviticus 11:29 declares them unclean. In 1 Samuel, after the Philistines captured t's he Ark of the Covenant, they were afflicted by God with plagues of mice and of hemmorhoids, until they returned the Ark with a tribute of five golden hemmorhoids and five golden mice:
Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. 1 Samuel 6, 4-5 (KJV)
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