Gerbil, any of various small rodents native to Africa and Asia. There are many species, including the Mongolian gerbil, which is native to Asia. This gerbil is used as a laboratory animal and is a popular pet. It is up to five inches (13 cm) long, excluding the tail. The Mongolian gerbil has light brown, black-tipped guard hairs and gray underfur. It eats vegetable material, such as seeds, and drinks little water.

Gerbils belong to the family Muridae. The Mongolian gerbil is Meriones unguiculatus.