The Stone Mouse is one of the most impressive rodents, living in one of the most demanding environment is Sarvonia: the Stone Fields of Peat. Aside from being revered for their survival skills, though, the Stone Mouse is also one of the smallest rodents so that is needs less food to sustain itself. Stone Mice, as their name might suggest, are gray in color, though they may have undertones of white, brown, or even red.
Appearance. The Stone Mouse is one of the smallest of its family, being only about 6 nailsbreadths in length including a 2 Ĺ nailsbreadth tail. They may sometimes appear a bit larger, though, as they will typically grow a slightly thicker coat during the early autumn to keep them warm in the winter. The coat of the Stone Mouse is, as might be implied by the name, as gray as rocks. Their winter coat is sometimes a slightly lighter hue than their summer coat. However, this is not to say Stone Mice are all always complete gray. In fact, mice of this sort may also have brown, white, or read undertones, giving them some individuality
The Stone Mouse has a more rounded head and body than most of its kind, with smaller snouts on the end of which are plump cheeks, where nuts can be stored, and from where whiskers protrude to help the creature make its way around. Its bulging eyes are usually black, but sometimes come in dark gray or even dark brown. The ears are rounded and rather small on top of the creatures head. This mouse has small, clawed feet. Their front feet are small and very hand-like in their ability to grip things such as small seeds. The Stone Mouse is also unique in that its feet are slightly stick, giving it some advantage when trying to climb large rocks. They also have strong back feet for jumping.
Special Abilities. The Stone Mouse is very tailored to its environment, having adapted to the harsh habitat of the Stone Field of Peat. They have very small bodies, which means they need less food to sustain themselves than a larger animal would. Their bodies are able to store and use energy effectively, not wasting any of it. Their rounded body structure means that they lose heat slower, so they are able to keep warm in their chilly region.
Stone Mice also have very interesting feet that are slightly sticky, giving them an advantage when trying to climb rocks in search of food. Their back legs are also very strong, allowing them to jump about a fore from one rock to another. Though this isnít as far as some other mice, it is indeed very helpful to this gray variety.
Territory. These mice live solely within the confines of the Stone Field of Peat. The many gray rocks help them to blend in, avoiding hunting hawks that might be looking to gobble them up for dinner. They often live in nooks and rocks between rocks. Often times they will make their homes deep under the rubble where Grothar cannot reach them. The lands they live in are rather bleak and there arenít many places to hide save for in the rock crevices.
Often Stone Mice will keep the same home year and year, continually making it more comfortable by furnishing it with winter hair shed in the early spring. Sometimes a mouse will occupy the home of another if that home has been abandoned or if the former occupant has died. The baby mice are born and kept safe within these small homes.
Habitat/Behaviour. For the most part, Stone Mice are very social, often living in large family groups, or very closely to mice of their own blood. The children of a mother mouse will not stray far from their mother's home. Many older male mice, once they reach adolescent age, will often do more exploring than their female peers, who are more content to either reside in their motherís nest longer or else begin making a home close to their mothers. Males will not make their own house, but will rather share the mouse of the female with whom he is mating.
Males do not make territories, but will often go from one nest to another. During the mating season, which occurs in late summer or early autumn, the male will go from nest to nest, searching for a mate. If a male finds a female who accepts him, then he will be let into the femaleís den and they will mate. He will mate with no others for the year, and will spend the winter in her home. For males that donít find a mate, they will need to find somewhere else to spend the winter. Many males who donít find a mate will die.
The Stone Mouse does not quite go into hibernation when the winter finally comes, but will become very sluggish, sleeping most of the day and waking only to eat a bit and then sleep again. When spring comes, they clean out their dens and shed their winter fur.
Diet. The Stone Mouse isnít very particular about food, and will typically eat any grass that grows in the Stone Field. They especially enjoy peat grass, but will eat other kinds of grass if they must. They donít typically eat grass in the winter, but will instead tuck themselves into their dens with a good supply of seeds, usually peat grass seeds, collected during the summer and early autumn months. They like nuts and seeds, but will not eat berries, as none grow in their natural habitat and thus they have no knowledge of taste and no trust in the juicy objects.
Mating. The Stone Mouse mates in late summer or early autumn. During this time, the male mice look desperately for a female who will accept him into her home. He gains acceptance, usually, by presenting her with seeds. If she accepts him, the two will mate and live together in her house for the winter. During this time, she will go through gestation such that, in early spring, she will bare her young. There are usually between 3 and 12 babies in a litter, with an average somewhere between 7 and 8. These babies are small, sometimes only a nailbreadth in length. They are pink and completely naked, depending on their mother to keep them warm. Usually around this time she and her mate will begin shedding their winter fur, and this fur will be used to keep their young warm.
The babies will mature quickly and after about a week will have grown fur and be able to move around. However, they do not typically leave the nest until they are about four weeks old. They will begin playing outside and exploring when they are six months. Young do not typically leave their mother until their second year. The father will leave the mother after this time and accepts a different male into her den for the following winter. The family will thus all sleep together during the next winter and in the spring following, the young will depart from the den to make lives of their own.
Males will often wander off, sometimes to a completely different community, while the female typically live near their motherís Den. Some females will even live in their motherís den for another year, though they are ready to mate after a year. Stone mice live between six and seven years, though they may live as long as 11.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus