Spiny mice tend to live in large family groups and are considered to be highly sociable. The diet of the Arabian spiny mouse consists primarily of seeds, but it will also occasionally feed on grasses and insects (4). These mammals are nocturnal, the cooler desert night time temperatures offering a more comfortable environment in which to search for food (2) (5).
Most information regarding reproduction in spiny mice has been discovered through studies carried out in captivity, as they can be hard to locate and study in the wild (2). Females give birth to a litter of up to five young following an approximate six week gestation period (3), and it is not unknown for one female to help another with tasks such as cleaning and nursing (5). The young are weaned after two weeks and may reach sexual maturity within two months (5). Spiny mice have a life expectancy of around five years in captivity, but in the wild this may be reduced to around three years (2).
As well as the spiny fur, which can act as a deterrent to potential predators, the Arabian spiny mouse can easily shed its tail, either whole or in part, with no great impact on the mouse, a remarkable feature that can aid the mouse’s escape from a predator (2).