Do Mice Have Thumbs? (A Look at How Their Claws Work)

Do Mice Have Thumbs

Do mice have thumbs?

Mice are great at climbing, holding food, and use their claws to do a number of things. Yet, interestingly, mice to do not have opposable thumbs.

Mice are so good at climbing because they have good strength for their body weight, sharp claws, and excellent balance.

How Many Toes Do Mice Have?

Mice have 5 toes on their back feet, and 4 toes on their front feet. Their feet feel soft, and they have sharp nails on each of their toes.

The reason they have an extra toe on their back feet is to add some extra stability and give them that extra grip they need to hold onto things and spring load their jumping.

Their front feet are for holding and eating food. It’s always a cute sight to see mice holding onto a nut or pieces of vegetable and have a nibble.

They have great dexterity with all of their feet, which is why they are such nimble and agile climbers.

Another interesting fact is that mice are able to move backward quickly. This helps them escape danger by backing up into the tunnels they’ve dug if they stick their head out and see something threatening for example.

Do Mice Have Sharp Claws?

Yes, mice do have sharp claws. It’s nothing to be worried about however, if you have pet mice or are going to handle a wild mouse.

Mice rarely scratch people. It’s never really happened to me, and I’ve handled fancy mice for years and picked up a few wild and house mice.

Mice will only scratch or lash out if they feel threatened. But, if you see a mouse looking threatened or scared it’s best not to handle them anyway unless you really have to.

If you do need to pick them up, say you have a wild mouse in your house, then wear gloves and scoop them up around their bodies carefully and remove them this way.

It’s not a good idea to risk getting scratched by their sharp little claws. Not only will it hurt, but there is always a chance of infection, and it’s even rarer but possible they are carrying some kind of disease.

Comments (1)
  1. Sally Simmons February 21, 2020

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