Guinness World Records: ‘Patrick Stewart’ is world’s oldest living mouse, what’s the average lifespan

Guinness has named Patrick Stewart, a tiny Pacific mouse, as the world’s oldest living mouse in human care at age 9.
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Patrick Stewart, a mouse named after the famous actor, is officially the world’s oldest living mouse in human care, Guinness World Records has announced. The rodent, who is nine years and 210 days old as of February 9, 2023, is also the oldest mouse ever, surpassing the ages of previous record holders.

Pat falls under the species of Pacific pocket mouse - North America’s smallest mouse species and was thought to be extinct until a small population was rediscovered in 1994. The average lifespan of a Pacific pocket mouse in the wild is one to two years; in captivity it can increase to four to six years.

According to Guinness, his age is described as ‘unprecedented’, as he’s almost two years older than the previous oldest mouse ever recorded, Fritzy (1977-1985), who was owned by Bridget Beard from the UK and lived to the age of seven years 225 days.

The record-breaking mouse was born on 14 July 2013 in the Pacific Pocket Mouse Breeding Facility at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he has lived his entire life. Pat’s birth date has been confirmed via multiple medical records and animal record logs.

He was produced by two wild-caught parents and was born with one other male littermate, during the first year of the zoo’s Pacific pocket mouse conservation, breeding and reintroduction program.

Dr Debra Shier, who monitors Pat at the breeding facility, said although Pat has never sired a litter himself, “he still tries.” She said: “He has been paired 32 times with 23 different females and while he exhibited good courtship behaviour (sandbathing, slow approach and digging), females were extremely aggressive in mate pairings with him.”

Weighing about the same as three pennies, the endangered rodent gets its name from the pouches in its cheeks which are used to carry food and nesting materials. Though small, these mice play a crucial role in their ecosystems by dispersing the seeds of native plants and encouraging plant growth through their digging activities.

According to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, receiving this Guinness World Records title is a win for the small, often-overlooked species. For 20 years, the Pacific pocket mouse was thought to be extinct until a tiny remnant population was rediscovered in 1994 at Dana Point, California.

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