A mouse (Plural mice) is a mammal that belongs to one of numerous species of small rodents.
The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). It is found in nearly all countries and, as the laboratory mouse, serves as an important model organism in biology; it is also a popular pet. (Non-biologists often use the term "mouse" synonymously with "Mus musculus"). The American white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) and the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) also sometimes live in houses. These species of mice live commensally with humans. Although they may live up to two years in the lab, the average mouse in the wild lives only 3 months, primarily due to heavy predation. Cats, wild dogs, birds-of-prey, and snakes prey heavily upon mice.
Mice can be harmful pests, damaging and eating crops and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces. The original motivation for the domestication of cats is thought to have been for their predation of mice and their relatives, the rats. A mouse trap can also be used to catch mice.
The mouse has bichromatic vision, lacking the photopigment for red light.
There are 38 species in the genus Mus.
Mice generally live on a herbivore diet, but are actually omnivores: they will eat meat, the dead bodies of other mice, and have been observed to self-cannibalise their tails during starvation. Grasshopper mice are an exception to the rule, being the only fully carnivorous mice. Mice eat grains and fruits for a regular diet, which is the main reason they damage crops.