The body of the common dormouse is up to 8 centimetres long and its tail is up to 65 millimetres. It is yellowish brown above and whitish below, with large, black eyes.
Inhabiting mainly deciduous forests and hedgerows, it is found across Europe and Asia Minor.
A nocturnal animal, it spends the day and the entire winter in its nest, which is oval in form and built of leaves, lichens and moss in hollows or among shrubs. When the weather is cold and food scarce it saves energy by curling into a ball and going to sleep. It breeds up to twice per year and feeds on buds, seeds, hazelnuts, acorns and insects. It is an excellent climber and spends most of its waking hours in tree branches looking for food, rarely going down to the ground.