What if we told you there’s a mouse out there that acts like a werewolf? You might laugh and roll your eyes – mutter a “yeah, right” and go on with your day. But in all seriousness, the grasshopper mouse is a badass rodent beast.
They are itty-bitty and completely innocent-looking, but don’t be fooled by their basic-mouse appearance.
This interesting breed of mice are skilled hunters who howl at the moon, like a miniature version of a werewolf.
Plus, they eat scorpions and are unaffected by their toxic venom. In fact, they are capable of transforming scorpion venom into a painkiller – pretty sweet, right?
It sounds like something out of a cheap horror movie, but the grasshopper mouse is one-hundred percent the real deal.
The nightmare-provoking grasshopper mouse is native to the United States and Mexico. They prefer to live in grasslands and shrub of steppes.
Tiny but mighty, the average grasshopper mouse is only 3.5 to 5 inches long, plus their tail measures around 1 to 2.5 inches.
While the blood thirsty breed isn’t deadly to humans, it can take down a lot of other animals and insects that would destroy an ordinary house mouse in seconds.
Don’t be fooled by their tiny, cute appearance – these mice are natural killers from the day they are born.
Similarly to cats, the grasshopper mouse stalks its prey and then sneaks up on it.
Other members of the mice family are not reliant on a meat-based diet like the grasshopper mouse. To satisfy their meaty cravings, they will often take on prey that is as large, or larger, than itself.
They don’t just eat scorpions, they also feast on spiders, snakes, and a host of other insects. While they mostly eat insects, they won’t hesitate when it comes to taking on white-footed mice, voles and kangaroo rats for supper.
Yet, perhaps the most incredible thing about these feisty creatures is their immunity to scorpion venom, as well as the venom of some snakes.
The sting of a scorpion is often deadly, but not to the grasshopper mouse. Even better, its body has adapted to convert the toxins into a painkiller.
They can also take down a violently venomous centipede that is capable of killing any other regular mouse.
While they are not immune to the poison of the centipede, they are incredibly agile and will fight to the death to score a taste of centipede blood.
“It uses its quick reflexes to avoid the venom from the centipede’s fangs,” National Geographic explains.
In order for the centipede to inject its prey, it must hold them down using their needle-sharp claws. The mouse is too quick for that business, continually diving out of their grasp while biting through the centipede’s hard exoskeleton.
Each bite damages the insect’s central nervous system until it finally becomes paralyzed. At which point, it is a safe meal for the mouse to enjoy.
And here’s where things get really crazy… before claiming a victim, the grasshopper mouse will howl at the moon as a way to claim its territory. This is how it gets its nickname, the werewolf mouse.
It’s not your typical howl – it’s more of a piercing scream, and it’s actually kind of cute. You can take a listen for yourself in the video below.
Grasshopper mice are solitary creatures who prefer to live alone or in pairs, one male and one female. They are highly territorial. In fact, one to two will typically occupy as much as 28 acres of land!
Don’t try to turn a grasshopper mouse into your pet – they are aggressive when held in captivity and will kill just about anything you try and house them with.
Grasshopper mice construct burrows for nesting and storing food, they often take up residence in the burrows of kangaroo rats, prairie dogs and pocket mice.