This family includes five species in four genera. Gundis are found in northern Africa.
Gundis are small, stocky rodents with short, furry tails and short legs. Adults weigh 170-200 gms. Their heads are large and blunt, their eyes are large, and superficially they resemble guinea pigs or pikas. Each foot has four digits, and on the hind feet, two of the digits have stiff bristles that form a comb. All digits have claws, which are not large but are very sharp. The soles of the feet have distinctive friction pads. The ears are short and rounded, and in some species, their openings are protected by a fringe of hairs around the inner margin of the ear. The pelage of these animals is soft, silky, and dense. The cuticular scales on individual hairs are unusual, narrow and petal-like. Most species are brown or gray in color.
Gundis have a flattened skull, with broad frontals and relatively well developed supraorbital ridges. They are sciurognathous and hystricomorphous, with a small and narrow zygomatic plate. The jugals have horizontal and vertical branches, and the vertical reaches the large lacrimal. The bullae are large, and the skull appears to broaden posteriorly. The dental formula is 1/1, 0/0, 1/1 or 2/2, 3/3 = 20 or 24, and the cheekteeth are flat-surfaced and evergrowing. Their occlusal surfaces are "8" or kidney-shaped.
Gundis are herbivorous. Their large eyes might suggest nocturnal habits; nevertheless, they are diurnal or crepuscular, moving rapidly from areas of sunlight to dark rock shelters. They sunbathe to help warm up in the morning, then alternate between sun and shade to maintain their body temperatures within tolerable limits. They tend to live in colonies, communicating with a variety of vocalizations.
Families of Order Rodentia Suborder Sciurognathi Family Aplodontidae (mountain beaver, sewellel) Family Sciuridae (squirrels) Family Castoridae (beavers) Family Geomyidae (pocket gophers) Family Heteromyidae (kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and allies) Family Dipodidae (birch mice, jumping mice, jerboas) Family Muridae (familiar rates and other rodents) Family Anomaluridae (scaly-tailed squirrels) Family Pedetidae (spring hare, springhaas) Family Ctenodactylidae (gundis) Family Myoxidae (dormice and hazel mice) Suborder Hystricognathi Family Bathyergidae (mole rats, blesmols, and rats) Family Hystricidae (Old World porcupines) Family Petromuridae (rock rat or dassie rat) Family Thryonomyidae (cane rats or grasscutters) Family Erethizontidae (New World porcupines) Family Chinchillidae (Chinchillas and viscachas) Family Dinomyidae (pacarana, branick rats, false paca) Family Caviidae (cavies and guinea pigs) Family Hydrochaeridae (capybara) Family Dasyproctidae (agoutis, acouchis) Family Agoutidae (pacas) Family Ctenomyidae (tuco-tucos) Family Octodontidae (degus, coruros, rock rats) Family Abrocomidae (chinchilla rats, chinchillones) Family Echimyidae (spiny rats) Family Capromyidae (hutias, zagouties, cavies, Indian coneys) Family Heptaxodontidae (Quemi, giant hutias) Family Myocastoridae (nutria, coypu)
<<<<<<<>>>>>>>ARTIODACTYLA CARNIVORA CETACEA CHIROPTERA DASYUROMORPHIA DERMOPTERA DIDELPHIMORPHI DIPROTODONTIA HYRACOIDEA INSECTIVORA LAGOMORPHA MACROSCELIDEA MICROBIOTHERIA MONOTREMATA NOTORYCTEMORPHIA PAUCITUBERCULATA PERAMELEMORPHIA PERISSODACTYLA PHOLIDOTA PRIMATES PROBOSCIDEA RODENTIA SCANDENTIA SIRENIA TUBULIDENTATA XENARTHRA