"Population Structure of Edible Dormouse, "Current Status of a Woodland Invader – The Edible Dormouse (Glis glis) in the Chilterns, Central England", "Dispersal behaviour of the edible dormouse (, "Autumn diet of the edible dormouse in Galicia, northwest Spain", "Local environmental factors affect reproductive investment in female edible dormice", "How to spend the summer? Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, "Carolus Linnaeus and the edible dormouse", "Abundance and Activity of the Edible Dormouse, "Population Dynamics of the Edible Dormouse (. The first used were the hollow-tree trapping method and the flat-stone trapping method. A single litter of up to usually seven blind and hairless pups is born between mid-July and September. In both countries, edible dormouse is a traditional peasant dish and dormouse trapping is an important event. Instances of house fire have been attributed to electrical fires caused by wires chewed by Glis glis. In this region, two subspecies of the edible dormouse are found, G. g. glis and G. g. orientalis. [4] Compared with similarly sized mammals, they have an unusually long lifespan, and have been reported to live up to 12 years in the wild. From the six original escapees, it is now estimated around 30,000 inhabit an area that covers Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and now Essex. Be the first to share a photo of this item with our community. In Slovenia they are considered a rare delicacy and dormouse trapping is a tradition. They rub their anal region on the ground and places they walk, so traces of the secretion will be left for other dormice,[4] especially during periods of sexual activity. , 2008 ). The Romans had a special place to keep dormice which was called a glirarium. The Edible dormouse is nocturnal and gregarious in nature, often living in groups of up to 30. [35] The dormice were kept and raised either in large pits or (in less spacious urban surroundings) in terra cotta containers, the gliraria,[36] something like contemporary hamster cages. It has a generally squirrel-like body, with small ears, short legs, and large feet. Wild edible dormice are still consumed in Slovenia, as well as in Croatia. They fed these captive dormice walnuts, chestnuts, and acorns for fattening. [6] They are also found in the Caucasus region, and along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The edible dormouse in Langenberg. Free‑living dormice (, "Survival rates in a small hibernator, the edible dormouse: a comparison across Europe", "Long living and reproduction skipping in the fat dormouse", 10.1890/0012-9658(2003)084[1784:llarsi]2.0.co;2, "Telomeres are elongated in older individuals in a hibernating rodent, the edible dormouse", "Infamous glis glis is blamed for house blaze", "The Ghirarium: How Etruscans stored and ate dormice", "Dormouse hunting as part of Slovene national identity", "Dormouse Culture, Tradition & Myths: Dormouse Hunting in Slovenian Tradition", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edible_dormouse&oldid=986384553, Articles with dead external links from December 2016, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from May 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 31 October 2020, at 14:36. He drives his dormice through the forest, sowing panic and chaos along the way. The Romans loved to eat them too. Edible dormice are active during a six-month period and go into hibernation[13] from roughly October to May, depending on local climatic conditions. [4], Unlike most other dormice, they have no dark markings on the face, aside from faint rings around the eyes. Call at least 48 hours in advance so that they have time to contact a dormouse supplier. Although of rare occurrence in many regions of central Europe, Glis glis control. Though it lacks the bushy tail, its grey body is a similar size, and it lives a life in the trees eating nuts and fruit. The edible dormouse is the largest of all dormice, being around 14 to 19 cm (5.5 to 7.5 in) in head-body length, plus an 11- to 13-cm-long tail. Edible Dormouse climbing a tree, Slovenia. When it was eaten as a dissert, it would be dipped in honey and poppy seeds. ‘To this day, wild edible dormice are consumed in Slovenia, where they are considered a rare delicacy and dormouse trapping an ethnic tradition.’ ‘Exposure of male edible dormice all year round to an unvarying photoperiod and warm temperature disrupted their biological cycles.’ They stay in the nest for about 30 days. Dormouse Scientific Name. “Do people in Slovenia still commonly eat dormouse?” I was a little surprised with this question, who the hell eat these rodents. They leave scent trails from scent glands on their feet, as well as glands at the top of their tails by the anus. [40] The people of Slovenia did not just catch the dormice for their meat:[39] use of dormice for food and fur and of dormouse fat as an ointment is documented there since the 13th century. But during special occasions, the Romans turned to their favorite delicacy: edible Dormouse. The dormouse uses sticky secretions of plantar glands when they are climbing on smooth surfaces to prevent them from falling. One of the main threats to Edible dormice is hunting. A beloved dish in ancient Rome, these rodents are now grilled or stewed in select Croatian and Slovenian restaurants. The fat dormouse (Glis glis) has been a commodity species in Slovenia for almost a millennium. They have frequently been reported from caves as deep as 400 m (1,300 ft), where they can shelter from predators. The edible dormouse was thought to be a special food in ancient Rome. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. The genus Glis first originated in the middle Oligocene, although it did not become common until the Pliocene. It was eaten as an appetizer or as a dessert. [4] They generally stay in the forest and avoid open areas to any extent. [16], Edible dormice are nocturnal, spending the day in nests taken from birds, or located in hollow trees or similar shelter. [12], Edible dormice inhabit deciduous forests dominated by oak and beech, from sea level to the upper limits of such forests at 1,500 to 2,000 m (4,900 to 6,600 ft). The dormice were kept alive in terracotta pots called gliraria. [8], A small, isolated population of Glis glis also exists in south-east England. [4], The edible dormouse is capable of limited autotomy; if another animal grasps the tail, the skin breaks easily and slides off the underlying bone, allowing the dormouse to escape. [3] Its name comes from the Romans, who ate them as a delicacy. Seasonal dormice feasts were welcome protein supplements for the impoverished peasantry. High-Speed photograph of Edible Dormouse jumping (Glis Glis), Europe. The edible dormouse (Glis glis) was considered a delicacy in ancient Rome, either as a savoury appetizer or as a dessert (dipped in honey and poppy seeds). [24], Males are not territorial, and may visit the territories of several nearby females to mate, becoming aggressive to any other males they encounter. Sihlwald Nature Discovery Park External facilities and Sihlwald. Fig.1 Dormouse (lat. [14], Edible dormice are primarily herbivorous, feeding mainly on berries, apples, and nuts. The edible dormouse is very similar to squirrel, with a rich, greasy flavor and only a few mouthfuls of meat on each one. Glis glis have adapted well to the presence of humans and now frequently hibernate in insulated attics and even dark shelves in cupboards, particularly if soft materials are on the shelf to make a nest. [29], Despite being regarded as a pest in the United Kingdom,[9] the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prohibits certain methods of killing dormice. Today, dormouse is still considered a delicacy throughout Slovenia, and in certain areas of Croatia. That Slovenian delicacy was the edible dormouse (glis glis). The animals must then be humanely destroyed after capture. Mothers and daughters may share a nest and nurse their young communally. Edible dormouse listed among Britain's great wildlife threats . Today, the edible dormouse is still a traditional dish in Croatia, where it is known as puh, and Slovenia, where it is known as polh. The dark confined space of the pot prevented the dormouse from doing to much excercise and made it think it was hibernating so it would fatten up. A single, large, seeding tree within the home range of a dormouse can produce enough resources to support the energy requirements of reproduction. Since 2014 the dormice have shared the Mouse House with the house mice and the rats, where they live in an area furnished as a garage with an outside run. During mating season, males lower their body mass and use their body fat reserves to help fuel the energetic costs of reproduction. Opening hours. [6] They prepare a den in soft soil or hidden in a cave, and rely on fat reserves to survive through the winter. During hibernation, metabolic rate and body temperature fall dramatically, and the animal may cease breathing altogether for periods up to an hour. To this day, wild edible dormice are consumed in Slovenia, where they are considered a rare delicacy and where dormouse trapping is an ethnic tradition. The tail is long and bushy, with fur slightly darker than that on the body. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. Females are able to produce additional young if amino acid-rich foods like inflorescences, unripe seeds, and (or) larval insects, which also increase their numbers by eating the same enriched plant food, are available. [4], Population densities range from two to 22 individuals per hectare. [13] They are not generally social animals, although small groups of closely related adults have occasionally been reported. [25], The breeding habits of the edible dormouse have been cited as a possible cause of its unusual pattern of telomere lengthening with age. They begin to leave the nest after around 30 days, and are sexually mature by the time they complete their second hibernation. The location and age of a beech tree helps dictate where a population of dormice live, since older trees produce more seeds. Alongside local experts, we'll munch our way through Slovenia's stunning alpine pastures, forests, and lakes—gathering wild foods, making mountain tea, and crafting a charismatic cheese. In some parts of their range (Slovenia, Croatia, Italy), there is a tradition of hunting this species. They are mostly active in the summer and are active on average 202 min in a 24-hour day, mostly at night. Today, the edible dormouse is still a traditional dish in Croatia, where it is known as puh, and Slovenia, where it is known as polh. [7], It is also found in scattered populations throughout Thrace, located on the southeastern tip of the European Balkan peninsula. [39] In the 19th century, traps made from iron and steel were introduced. [17] Many edible dormice mothers form communal nesting areas where they care for their young together.[4]. In Croatia, particularly on the island of Hvar, they are grilled over an open flame and served on bread. Northern Anatolia has a different subspecies, G. g pindicus. [26], Although the edible dormouse is the only living member of its genus, a number of fossil species are also known. [4] Some dormice are found to have hair and ectoparasite remains in their stomachs, but this is mainly due to accidental ingestion during grooming. This Spanish pâté was so inspiring, someone wrote a poem about it. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). They also mention the use of dormouse fat as a medicine. Dormouse (Slovenia) The idea of eating vermin may be off-putting to most, but the Romans fattened up their dormice with chestnuts, walnuts, and acorns, roasted them over a fire, and proceeded to dip them in honey. No purchase necessary. [4] They develop their fur by 16 days, and open their eyes after around 3 weeks. Atlas Obscura Trips. They can be difficult to find, and require a trip off the beaten path, but are well worth the effort. Front feet have four digits and their hind feet have five. All rights reserved. [4] Germany has a small population of edible dormice within its borders, ranging from two to six individuals per hectare. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Often overlooked as a tourist destination, Slovenia is a beautiful, mountainous country with impressive rivers, forests, and a stunning coastline. But it’s not all doom and gloom for these delectable rodents. [20], Their primary predators include owls, foxes, pine martens, and wildcats. In this situation, they are generally regarded as a pest due to the fire risk from gnawed electrical cables and fouling from their faeces. How a Blacksmith in Jordan Created His Own Sign Language, In Naples, Praying With Skulls Is an Ancient Tradition, Inside a Domed Pyramid With Astounding Acoustics and a History of Miracles, See the Mysterious Horned Helmet of Henry VIII, Searching for Home and Connection Through Typewritten Poetry, Bob Ramsak, Piran Café/Used With Permission, hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=89983, secretcroatia.blog/2012/02/05/eating-dormice-on-hvar-island/, sarahemilybond.com/2017/06/06/pass-the-dormice-breeding-selling-and-eating-honeyed-dormice-in-antiquity/, borutpeterlin.wordpress.com/2007/11/01/hunting-and-eating-dormouse-2/, www.atlasobscura.com/articles/dormouse-jars-glirarium-rome. In parts of Slovenia and Croatia they are still eaten. [15], Edible dormice also consume large numbers of beech tree seeds. Follow us on social media to add even more wonder to your day. It can be baked with buckwheat, or cooked in a goulash or stew. 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