Win-Win Ecology: How the Earth's Species Can Survive in the Midst of Human Enterprise

By Michael L. Rosenzweig | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2
Landscape Architecture for the
Third Millennium

Looking for fish? Don't climb a tree

Old Chinese Proverb

Habitat If a creature gets into the place, everything else is likely to be easier

Heerwagen & Orians 1

The pocket mice did it. Pocket mice are wild rodents of North American deserts and semi-arid landscapes. Seeds form a very important part of their diets. These mice look for seeds on the desert floor and then cram their winnings into furlined pockets inside their cheeks. Their name comes from these pockets.

After accumulating a good-sized stash, they return home to their burrows and deposit the seeds into a storage chamber. Some also dig special pits all over the desert floor for storing the seeds.

Tiny little guys even as adults, they weigh from a quarter of an ounce (eight grams) to just over an ounce (a bit more than 30 grams), depending on the species. They are more closely related to squirrels than to house mice, and I think they have a lot of personality.

In the 1970s, I was working in Arizona to discover how so many species of pocket mice—there are dozens—could stay in business. Just like

-11-

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