Gerbils are mammals which belong to the rodent family having large incisor teeth that are continually growing necessitating gnawing to prevent the teeth from overgrowing. The word 'rodent' is derived from the latin word 'rodere' which means 'to gnaw'.
Gerbils form the Family Gerbillinae which is broken down into different Genera and then Species. There are many different species of gerbils throughout the world and most inhabit semi-desert areas where they live in burrows.
Only a few species are widely kept as pets but the gerbil is a popular small pet kept in many countries today.
A list of gerbil species with common name, scientific name and alternative names.