Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Amazing Life of the Harvest Mouse

These pictures give a rare insight into the secret lives of tiny harvest mice (Micromys minutus). Photographers Jean-Louis Klein and Marie-Luce Hubert spent one year photographing the adorable little creatures in a project that saw them released from captivity into the wild

(click picture to enlarge)
A harvest mouse seems to look directly into the camera while balancing on ears of wheat
A harvest mouse balancing between two stalks of grass in a field in Alsace, France

From the studio - where the pair documented tiny newborns and their first few weeks of life - to the great outdoors where all of the 30 mice were eventually released, the pictures take viewers through a variety of events faced by the mice
A female harvest mouse and her young (aged 5 days) in a nest

Jean-Louis said: "All of the harvest mice came originally from captivity and were eventually released them into a field where we continued to photograph them, always carefully choosing a suitable habitat where we knew they could survive
A harvest mouse female regurgitating to feed her cubs (aged 10 days old)

"We also wanted to show the behaviour of the animals during maternity, but we wouldn't have been able to get this in the wild without disturbing the mother and there was a danger a wild mother might have abandoned them. Instead we shot the maternal behaviour in a studio before releasing the mice once the babies were mature enough for the wild."
To demonstrate how mice often take to the water in the wet meadows they inhabit, 55-year-old Jean-Louis and 46-year-old Marie-Luce gave one of their subjects a dip in a mouse-sized aquarium before releasing it into the wild
a mouse swimming in the water

The harvest mouse is the smallest European rodent. An adult can weigh as little as four grams (0.14 ounces)
A young harvest mouse on an ear of wheat

"When shooting in the wild, we didn't need a hide. You just had to find a good spot, lay very still for a long time, and wait for the mice"
A harvest mouse drinking the dew on a blade of grass

Three young harvest mice link tails while sitting on a branch...

...and another young mouse uses his tail to hang off theirs

A female harvest mouse carrying a baby to a new nest

A harvest mouse peers out from a nest

A harvest mouse balancing between two stalks of grass in Alsace, France, holds a grasshopper between its front paws

A harvest mouse female pushing a male on a branch

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...