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Summary

1. More is known about the western European house mouse, Mus (musculus) domesticus than any other non-human mammal. If laboratory and field information is combined, an extremely valuable understanding of the species' bioeconomy could be obtained.

2. The seven stages of mouse life-history are surveyed (up to birth, nest life, sex life, social structure, population statics and stability, senescence, and death), and the interactions between the changing phenotype and the environment are described.

3. These interactions can be used to build up a model of the opportunities and compromises which result in the fitness of individual mice. It is not yet possible to quantify such a model, but this should in principle be achievable.