Another freelance science mouse

A few months ago, my labmates who study chipmunks enlisted the help of one of my pet mice to test-run a chipmunk-monitoring device that they are hoping to use in the field this summer. That went well, and now they’re calling on another one of my mice for a simpler test: to see how long the glue they’re planning to use will keep their device attached to rodent fur. They want glue that will stay attached long enough for them to get good data, but not so long that the monitor becomes a permanent part of a chipmunk’s life.

Since chipmunks spend a lot of time in burrows, we chose my most burrow-loving mouse, who likes to spend all of his time hiding underneath things. He was not pleased to be forced out into the open.

Porter with the test chip glued to his back

Porter with the test chip glued to his fur

So far he hasn’t seemed to care a bit about the chip. However, he is quite annoyed that I now dig him up daily to check whether it is still attached. He’s not really a people mouse.

PLEASE just leave me alone.

PLEASE just leave me alone.

Much better.

Much better.

14 thoughts on “Another freelance science mouse

    • All the rats I’ve met have been very sweet. For my situation, I like the independence of mice – I can go to the field for a week and not worry that they miss me, since they don’t like me that much to begin with :-)
      And they are cute.

      • Fair enough. I prefer affectionate pets–I’d love to have a dog–but I understand the need to have pets that work with your lifestyle/schedule. My girlfriend has rats in part because they can get by without daily attention if necessary (generally if she’s out of town her mom or I stop by about every other day, and the boys are fine).

  1. It would be interesting to learn whether the chip increases or decreases chipmunk’s risk for predation– might attract attention from crows and small raptors but frighten off some predators.

    • I’m pretty sure they’re planning to put it in some sort of camouflaged cover in the field, so it doesn’t look so conspicuous and shiny. We generally try not to get our study animals killed!

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