Any of 20 rodent species (family Gliridae) found throughout Eurasia and northern Africa. Dormice have large eyes, soft fur, rounded ears, and a hairy (sometimes bushy) tail. They live in trees, bushes, and rock walls and in nests of plant material. They eat fruit, nuts, birds' eggs, and some insects and small animals. Many species sleep for long periods, particularly in winter. The largest species, the edible dormouse (Glis glis), is gray and attains a maximum length of about 8 in. (20 cm), excluding the 6-in. (15-cm) tail.