Saturday, 28 June 2014

Amateur Zoologist

I decided some time ago that having two gerbils offered me the perfect opportunity to become an amateur zoologist and make some observations about the differences between two gerbils who are related to one another and are living in the same environment.

However the sum total of my zoological observations has mainly involved me just laughing at how Ser Jorah Mormont is a little fatty whilst Tyrion Lannister remains much slimmer and sleeker.

At first I worried at the weight and size difference between the two and worried that Ser Jorah was bullying Tyrion and not allowing him to eat enough food. I then decided that much as people are different sizes, so must gerbils be too.

But it went even deeper than that. The fact is that Ser Jorah is tubbier because he just ruddy loves food. Both gerbils have a natural check on their appetites, it's just that Ser Jorah's is slightly bigger than Tyrion's. I'll be honest, I feel his pain - the guy just bloody loves food. If you put your hand in the cage with food in it, Ser Jorah is going to eat it. Tyrion might eat it but if he doesn't feel like it he'll leave it alone.

Tyrion also is much keener on exercise and whilst Ser Jorah does love occasionally digging in the gerbilarium and runs about during playpen funtime, he's mostly interested in chewing up toilet roll tubes and giving his jaw a work out. Tyrion however loves his exercise wheel and has a current routine of going on it for a good hour or so at about 10pm at night whilst Ser Jorah dozes in the cottage.

A while ago I decided that I would undertake a "scientific" experiment and see what kind of food the gerbils liked the most. Would the winner be a pumpkin seed or a bit of peanut? A piece of museli or a blueberry?

The experiment was mostly hilarious. My research has indicated to me that Ser Jorah likes.....the first piece of food he comes to.

He shoves it in his mouth then realises that there are other foods are on offer and then tries to put all food on offer in his mouth at once, despite the fact that he is not a hamster and doesn't have cheek pouches to store food.

I re-ran the experiment last night with some fresh fruit - I figured I should be giving him something healthy if I'm going to encourage his over-eating - and put out on offer a choice between some pepper, half a grape, half a cherry tomato and half a raspberry.

You may notice that there is no raspberry in my hand in the above photo. That's because Ser Jorah ran up to my hand, came to the raspberry first and just ran off with it without realising there was anything else on offer.

On his second trip to the hand he was a little more considered before making his final choice...

And looking very pleased with himself...

Does it not kill you how absolutely massive half a grape looks when it's in the paws of a gerbil?

You can expect to see my findings in most major zoology journals in the upcoming months.


  1. This brightened up my Saturday morning. I've never been terribly fond of rodents per se, but you have kind of made me want to see what gerbils are like for realz. I particulary like the 'consideration' photo, like grape or pepper is one of life's great dilemmas :D

  2. I did not know that gerbils don't have cheek pouches! Education of a Sunday morning!

    Tyrion is an inspiration with his exercise routine and strong willpower!

  3. I've nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blog Award! :D

  4. Haha, you zoological genius, you.


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