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One of the biggest lies in the animal world, exposed: mice don’t like cheese

It all started with a little hairball in a poorly lit hallway.. At the end of August, the neighbor in the second room saw her coming out of one of the basement storage rooms and commented on it in passing in the WhatsApp group that we have in the neighborhood community. Oh. No, seriously: Ay. From that precise moment, the subject became the geographic center of all elevator conversation, first; and in a matter of State, later.

What if “what do we do with this invasion”, what if “how can the budget they sent us be so expensive” or what if “I had twelve angora sweaters stored in a box and now a seven is made, does this cover it? community insurance? ” I am not exaggerating if I tell you that in recent months there has been more talk about rodents than the 5G of the COVID vaccine, the Palma volcano and the arrival of Messi at PSG. At least in my building.

I’ve gotten to know these critters better than many of the neighbors in the building.: I read twenty or thirty scientific articles and some manual; I saw half a dozen documentaries and I have a Twitter list with only the best roedologists in the world. That I took a strange affection from them, come on. And, for that very reason, I did not expect it. Never. Never. By no means did I see something like this coming: it turns out that mice don’t like cheese.

They gave it to us with cheese

Xavier Von Erlach Au2gonvfywu Unsplash

Xavier Von Erlach

My first reaction when I found out (by chance, a few days ago) was to feel cheated. The problem is, I couldn’t take it personally: the idea that mice are crazy about cheese is one of the most widespread zoological myths in history. David Holmes, an expert on animal behavior at Manchester Metropolitan University, has traced this tale back to Shakespeare’s play and in dozens of paintings since the Middle Ages.

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However, he did not find any scientific studies to support the love of cheese. Moreover, after analyzing in detail the eating patterns of rodents (both domestic and wild), it was realized that cheese wasn’t even among her favorite foods. They can and do eat it when nothing else is available. But it would never be his first choice.

In reality, mice prefer to eat foods with sugar. That is to say, things like fruit, cereal grains, or chocolate. Cheese (especially when it is “strong”) not only does not like too much, but, always according to Holmes, it could even be harmful, since cheese is not a natural part of the mouse’s diet and it does not seem that it tolerate very well.

After the cat thing, this: it is time to rethink my relationship with the animal kingdom.

Image | Pixar