The North African gerbil is primarily nocturnal, a behaviour that enables the gerbil not only to avoid the heat of the day, but also to feed at night when its favoured foods may be covered in dew, thus increasing its water intake. In addition, the North African gerbil produces extremely concentrated urine and dry faeces in order to minimise water loss in its arid environment (8).
The burrow, in which the gerbil spends the daytime, tends to be very simple with just a single entrance, which the gerbil blocks up with sand when it is inside to protect it from predators (5). It uses the burrow to raise young and store food, which includes nuts, seeds, roots, young shoots of plants and grasses and some insects (4).
The North African gerbil is able to breed continuously throughout the year (4), giving birth to litters of two to four pups after a gestation period of 20 to 23 days (6). The pups open their eyes after 17 to 20 days and are weaned off milk after 4 weeks (4).