We measure our lives in months and years. The wood mouse’s life is measured in hours and days. This tiny mammal, a member of the rodent family, has a childhood lasting only for three weeks.
Survival is a difficult task for such a small creature. The wood mouse ventures out mainly at night, using its whiskers to feel its way through the darkness. It has good sight and hearing, and an excellent sense of smell. However, the wood mouse is relatively defenseless, and many fall prey to owls, hawks, crows, foxes, and other predators.
The mouse’s main survival strategy is to breed at speed. A single mother may have several litters of babies, totally 25 to 30 offspring in a year. With so many babies, the chances are that only one or two will survive.
The wood mouse has many similarities to its close cousin, the house mouse. For both, life starts in a cozy nest. The new babies are pink and furless. Their eyes are closed, and there is no sign of the typically large mouse ears. They depend completely on their mother. She suckles them with her milk, licks them clean, removes their droppings, and keeps the nest clean. If they wriggle too far, she picks them up in her mouth and returns them to the nest.
【題組】41 How long does it take a wood mouse to grow into maturity?
(A)Less than one week
(B)Less than one month
(C)More than one month
(D)More than one year