Dormice are Old World mammals in the family Gliridae, part of the rodent (Rodentia) order. Dormice are mostly found in Europe, although some live in Africa and Asia. Dormice were considered a delicacy in ancient Rome, either as a savory appetizer or as a dessert.

They are small for rodents, with a typical length of about 2-3 inches (70 mm). Dormice typically feed on fruits, berries, flowers, nuts and insects. They are largely but not exclusively tree living and nocturnal animals.

One of the most notable characteristics of those dormice that live in mild zones is hibernation. Dormice can hibernate six months out of the year, or even longer if the weather remains sufficiently cool. They sometimes wake for brief periods to eat food they had previously stored nearby.

Dormice breed once or twice a year. Four is the typical size of a litter. They can live for as long as five years.