Jerboa, a jumping rodent native to arid parts of the Eastern Hemisphere. Its body, about eight inches (20 cm) long, is covered with silky, brownish-yellow fur. The front legs are short, the hind legs and tufted tail extremely long. Jerboas travel rapidly in great leaps, and can easily outdistance a human. They live in colonies in underground galleries, coming out at night for food.
The best-known species is the African jerboa, Jaculus jaculus. Jerboas belong to the family Dipodidae.