Low-coherence interferometry in living cochleae has provided valuable information for understanding cochlear micromechanics. A recent measurement of the reticular lamina and basilar membrane vibrations in mouse cochleae, however, is inconsistent with data collected from guinea pig cochleae. To determine whether a species difference accounts for the observed difference, a custom-built heterodyne low-coherence interferometer was used to measure reticular lamina and basilar membrane vibrations at the basal turn of sensitive gerbil and mouse cochleae. For the gerbil and mouse, both the reticular lamina and basilar membrane vibrations show sharp tuning and nonlinear compressive growth near the best frequency. The magnitude of the reticular lamina vibration is significantly greater than that of the basilar membrane vibration not only near the best frequency, but also at low frequencies. The phase of the reticular lamina vibration leads the basilar membrane phase by up to 180-degrees at low frequencies, and this phase lead decreases with frequency, approaching zero near the best frequency. The best frequency of the reticular lamina and basilar membrane vibrations at the cochlear basal turn in mice is significantly higher than that in gerbils. Besides this difference, cochlear micromechanical responses in the gerbil are similar to those in the mouse. Thus, the current results indicate that gerbil and mouse cochleae detect and process sounds likely through a similar micromechanical mechanism.