This adorable little harvest mouse shows off its gymnastics skills as it does the splits while balancing between two stalks of wheat. The intrepid rodent enjoyed a tasty snack as it balanced comfortably on the thin stalks. Graphic designer Mark Bridger, 46, captured this charming moment in the wild near Liverpool, England.
“They were fast, we just left them to run around on the wheat. I tried to keep up and get photos of them doing what they do. It’s awesome to watch these fellows running up and down and round and round which they did with ease," says Mark Bridger, photographer from West Malling, Kent, England.
The mice are captive bred mice and are part of a breeding program. Many of the rodents on the programme end up being released into the wild. Harvest mice are good climbers and use their prehensile tails – which are adapted to grasp objects – to climb and hold onto tall grass. The tail is roughly the same length as the mouse’s head and body.
Harvest mouse facts
• Scientific name. Micromys minutus
• Size. Europe’s smallest rodent, with adults weighing just four grams (0.14 oz).
• Nests. Harvest mice build breeding nests in the stems of plants high above the ground, made from woven grass.
• Lifespan. From a maximum of 18 months in the wild to up to four years in captivity