The average length of an adult gerbil is around 2 to 4 inches depending on the sex and the breed. The biggest gerbil species is the Great gerbil, growing up to eight inches in length.
Gerbils are adorable rodents that make excellent pets. They occur in nature in several types. Some are big, while others are smaller than mice.
But how big do gerbils get?
This article discusses the average size of different gerbil breeds and the size chart depending on the age of the rodent.
How Big Do Gerbils Get?
The Mongolian gerbil can grow up to four inches in length. Male gerbils are bigger and heavier than females.
Gerbils are small rodents. Most gerbils are as big as mice, but some are bigger than them. An average adult gerbil can easily fit in the palm of your hand though.
The most common type of gerbil is the Mongolian gerbil which grows to around 2 to 4 inches long.
The weight of an average gerbil ranges from 2 to 5 oz:
- Females weigh around 1.7 to 3.2 oz. (50 to 90 grams).
- Males weigh 2.4 to 4.7 oz. (70 to 135 grams).
Gerbil Size Chart
Baby gerbils are born small, with their eyes and ears sealed. They measure less than an inch. After about five weeks, gerbils become adults and reach 2 to 8 inches.
Gerbils are small rodents compared to some of the other species found in the wild. But because gerbil’s lifespan is short at around 2 to 4 years, they grow rapidly.
They are born after a gestation period of 24 days. A baby gerbil can grow to its full size after six to seven months.
Below is a size chart of gerbils’ growth from birth to adulthood.
|Less than an inch
|About an inch
|3-4 inches (Maximum size of some gerbil breeds)
|6-8 inches (Great Gerbils)
Gerbil Size According to Breed
The Great gerbil is the largest gerbil breed in the world. They reach a length of up to eight inches. The pouched gerbil is the smallest and lightest gerbil weighing only half an ounce.
There are over 100 different gerbil breeds living in various parts of the world. Each breed has unique characteristics and sizes.
Their size ranges from two inches to more than eight inches depending on the breed.
The most common gerbil breeds are:
- Mongolian gerbil
- Fat-tailed gerbil
- Egyptian gerbil
- Indian gerbil
- Great gerbil
- Libyan gerbil
- Snowshoe gerbil
1. Mongolian Gerbil
The Mongolian gerbil is the most common type of gerbil found in the world. It is one of the only two gerbil breeds kept as pets. They have slender bodies with agouti-golden color.
Mongolian gerbils have an average length of around 2.5 to 4 inches. They weighbetween 3.5 and 4.7 oz. (120 to 135 grams).
2. Fat-Tailed Gerbil
Fat-tailed gerbils, along with Mongolian gerbils, are one of the two gerbils commonly kept as pets. They have small bodies with fat tails that they use to store food and water.
The average size of a fat-tailed gerbil is around 2 to 3 inches, while their weight is around 1.2 to 4 oz. (40 to 120 grams).
3. Egyptian Gerbil
Egyptian gerbils are found in the deserts of Northern Africa. There are of two types:
- Lesser Egyptian gerbils
- Greater Egyptian gerbils
The lesser Egyptian gerbil has an average length of around 3 to 3.5 inches, while the greater Egyptian gerbil has an average length of around 4 to 5 inches, excluding the tail.
4. Indian Gerbil
Also known as the “Antelope Rat,” the Indian gerbil is an aggressive rodent that is commonly found in South Asia.
Indian gerbils are 5 to 6 inches long, making them one of the biggest gerbil species on the planet.
5. Great Gerbil
The great gerbil is the largest gerbil breed found in the world. They are present in much of Central and South Asia. They have large frontal paws, which help them dig deep into the ground.
The average size of a great gerbil is around 6 to 8 inches, excluding the tail. They weigh up to 5 oz. (140 grams) .
6. Libyan Gerbil
The Libyan gerbil is another gerbil native to North Africa. They are also found in some parts of Central and West Asia. They are also aggressive and frequently bite, which is why they are not kept as pets.
An average Libyan gerbil measures around 6 inches.
7. Snowshoe Gerbil
This type of gerbil is also called the Namib brush-tailed gerbil. They are mostly found in Namibia and Angola but are also present in other parts of Africa. They have white legs and brown bodies giving them their distinctive name.
The snowshoe gerbil can reach up to around three inches in length.
Gerbil Size Compared to Other Rodents
Rats are bigger and bulkier than gerbils. Gerbils are also smaller than hamsters which are themselves considered small rodents.
Rodents are present in every part of the world. They are either considered pests or kept as pets.
Gerbils, like other rodents, originated in the wild and were later domesticated in the 1860s when the French missionary Armand David was on his visit to Mongolia .
There are several other rodents that are similar to gerbils. Below is a comparison of some of the most common rodent species with gerbils.
Gerbil vs. Hamster
Hamsters are small and round rodents. They do not have any tails and have bulky bodies. Even with its small size, an average hamster is bigger than most gerbils.
Most full-grown hamsters reach a size of six inches which is slightly bigger than the average gerbil size of four inches.
Gerbil vs. Rat
Rats are considered a nuisance almost everywhere in the world. They are highly aggressive and do not make good pets.
Rats are longer and heavier than gerbils, but the great gerbil can be about the same size as an average rat.
Some rats, such as the Sumatran Bamboo rat, are even longer, reaching up to 20 inches in length. This makes them almost thrice as long as the great gerbil.
Other rat species, such as the Gambian Pouched rat, reach up to three feet.
Gerbil vs. Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are docile creatures that make excellent pets. They are generally larger than gerbils. Some of them reach up to 10 inches.
They are also bulkier and more muscular, making them heavier than their gerbil counterparts.
The average weight of a guinea pig is around 25 to 40 oz. making them almost ten times heavier than gerbils.
Gerbil vs. Mouse
Mice and gerbils are about the same size. They look alike and have long tails, which is why some people confuse one for the other. The most distinctive characteristic of mice is their large round ears which are bigger than their noses.
An average house mouse is 3 to 4 inches long making it the same size as a Mongolian gerbil.
Gerbils are affectionate creatures that have short life. They grow up quickly and reach their full size by the end of the first year of their life.
They are one of the smallest rodent species in the world and have almost the same size as mice.
The great gerbil is the largest gerbil breed in the world, reaching a size of around eight inches, while the average gerbil size around the world is 3 to 4 inches, excluding the tail.
At What Age Are Gerbils Fully Grown?
Gerbils are fully-grown at the age of one year. Most gerbils typically reach their full size by the end of the seventh month. Some gerbils continue to grow even after one year.
What Is the Smallest Type of Gerbil?
The pouched gerbil found in western Africa is the smallest gerbil breed in the world. It reaches a full size of up to two inches.
What Is the Biggest Gerbil in the World?
The great gerbil is the biggest gerbil breed in the world. It can grow an average length of around six to eight inches and weigh approximately 4.7 oz. (135 grams).