Singing Mice of Costa Rica

Alston's brown mouse, singing mice of Costa Rica

Alston’s brown mouse (on left)

We’ve all heard birds sing and even dogs how, but how about singing mice? In the cloud forests of Costa Rica there are such adorable little creatures. One being Alstone’s brown mouse (Scotinomys teguina) and the larger Chiriqui singing mouse (Scotinomys xerampelinus). These mice don’t just squeak away. They have repetitive patterns lasting up to 10 seconds. When you take into account that on average mice live for 1 1/2 years, it’s like singing an opera for us.

The scoop on singing mice:

The Alstone’s live in a broader heat range of the forest. Meaning they can take hotter weather than the Chiriqui. However if they decide to go up the mountain, where its cooler, into Chiriqui territory something interesting happens. If while an Alstone sings, it hears a Chiriqui’s song, it will immediately stop singing and head back down to warmer places. This avoids a possible run in with it’s larger cousin.

 

I’m left wondering if people in this day and age still think animals are soulless biological robots…

 

Singing vole animal microtus miurus

One more because they are just precious

 

If you wanna learn ALOT more about singing mice, head on over the the American Naturalist’s article on the subject.