Kangaroo Rat

Merriam’s kangaroo rats literally never have to drink water
Kangaroo Rat Scientific Classification
Kangaroo Rat Physical Characteristics
Brown, White, Dark Grey
2 to 5 years though some giant kangaroo rats have been known to live for over 9 years
Top speed
5 mph
4.5 ounces
Kangaroo Rat Distribition

Though the kangaroo rat is a tremendously adorable monster, it is just one of the champs of the animal kingdom when it concerns leaping expertise.

Among these little animals can leap as high as 9 feet. If an ordinary human can leap that range, they would certainly have the ability to leap over 20 feet at once! Not just that, the kangaroo rat has actually adjusted so magnificently to its desert environment that it seldom, in its life, requires a sip of water.

4 Extraordinary Kangaroo Rat Realities!

  • Among the much more intriguing kangaroo rat realities is in spite of its name and its appearances, the animal is neither a rat neither a mouse. Its closest loved one is the pocket gopher.
  • These animals utilize water so successfully that they nearly never ever need to consume. This is specifically real of Merriam’s kangaroo rat, which never ever requires to consume water.
  • These rodents can not just leap as long as 9 feet however can switch over instructions really promptly in between their dives.
  • Species of these animals in some cases have areas that overlap with the areas of various other species of kangaroo rats.

Kangaroo Rat Scientific name

The name of the genus to which these animals belong is Dipodomys “Dipodo” is from the New Latin dipodo, which suggests 2 feet. Mys is additionally from the New Latin, and suggests mouse. This is possibly since the rodent is greatly bipedal and resembles a mouse. Species are:

D. agilis, the Agile ––
D. californicus , the California –
D. compactus , the Gulf Coastline ––
D. deserti, the desert ––
D. elator, the Texas –
D. elephantinus, the large- eared –
D. gravipes , the San –Quintin –(* )D. heermanni
, Heerman’s –– D. ingens
, the Titan – D. merriami
, Merriam’s – D. microps,(* )the carve
toothed – D. nelsoni-, Nelson’s –
D. nitratoides, the Fresno ––
D. ordii, Ord’s –
D. panamintinus, Panamint –
D. phillipsii, Phillips’ ––
D. simulans, Dulzura –
D. spectabilis, Banner
trailed – D. stephensi-, Stephens ‘–
D. venustus , Narrow
dealt with kangaroo rat These rodents are tiny, with brilliant, dark eyes and large round heads, and a lot of species have 4 toes on each back foot. All have effective back legs that enable them to leap sometimes the size of their very own bodies. It is these back legs that provide the name “kangaroo rat.” Their front legs are a lot smaller sized. Their tails, which are made use of for equilibrium, are tufted and longer than the remainder of the animal’s body. The rodent additionally has cheek bags lined with hair. The rodents fill up these bags with seeds and down payment the seeds in caches discovered on their area. The animal additionally has reasonably long, soft hair in tones of brownish and grey, and a white tummy.

Kangaroo Rat Appearance

These rodents are small, with light, dark eyes and large rounded heads, and most species have four toes on each hind foot. All have powerful hind legs that allow them to jump many times their body length. It was these latter legs that gave them the name “kangaroo rats.” Their front legs are much smaller. Their tails, used for balance, are tufted and longer than the rest of the animal’s body. Rodents also have cheek pouches lined with fur. The rodents fill these sacs with seeds and deposit the seeds into cavities found in their territory. The animal also has a relatively long, soft coat of brown and gray, with a white belly.

Desert kangaroo rat sitting in the sandExisted YB/Shutterstock. com

Kangaroo Rat Behavior

The most remarkable thing about an animal’s behavior is the length of its jump. It jumps to avoid predators and also uses a so-called freeze mode to make it harder for predators to find them. In this mode, they stay completely still, then move suddenly.
These animals live in burrows under the sand or soft soil of the desert. There is only one adult per burrow. They come to these burrows during the hottest part of the day and during storms and other bad weather and come out at night to feed. Spending the day in their burrow helps conserve precious water and at the same time avoid predators. The burrows, like apartments, have different rooms for different activities, such as sleeping, and some kangaroos mate in their burrows. Their territory is usually between 200 and 300 feet around and on top of each other. These animals are usually solitary, but they come together to mate and find food.

Males seem to have some sort of social hierarchy, and more dominant males have more access to females when it’s time to breed. They have also been shown to fight each other by jumping in the air and kicking each other with their hind legs. Females are more moderate.

Although these animals have a wide variety of sounds, most species communicate by drumming their feet.

Kangaroo Rat Habitat

They are found in deserts from below sea level to as high as 7000 feet above sea level. Ord’s kangaroo rats are commonly found at this type of altitude. This species is also notable for being able to live in burrows built in shifting dunes. The types of deserts where others live include scrublands, home to giant kangaroos, creosote flats, washes, and open grasslands. The diet of these animals consists mainly of seeds and beans, which they collect in their cheek pouches and bring back to their territory. These seeds and beans come from plants like creosote bushes, ocotillos, and mesquite. The animal collects more seeds than it needs at once and stores them for later use. Giant kangaroos allow seeds to dry in piles or pits known as haystacks before they carry them into their burrows. When seeds and other vegetation are scarce, rodents will feed on caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects. They have been known to eat commercial grains such as wheat.

Kangaroo Rat Diet

These animals have a riches of Kangaroo Rat Almost every meat-eating animal that lives or sees the desert concerns them as victim, consisting of pet dogs and cats. Their typical environment is additionally being confiscated for farming and real estate for humans.

and Life Process predators These rodents do not mate permanently neither limit themselves to one companion when it concerns reproduction. When a female is productive, she will certainly mate with lots of males. Prior to breeding, the male and the female will certainly go after each various other around in a manner that appears spirited to a human onlooker. These animals prepare to mate when they have to do with 3 months old, and the female can create a number of clutters consisting of approximately 3 dogs a year. The price of reproduction is greater throughout years when there is plentiful food.

Kangaroo Rat Reproduction

The female is expectant for a little much less than aThese rodents do not mate for life nor limit themselves to one partner when it comes to reproduction. When a female is fertile, she will mate with multiple males. Before mating, the male and female will chase each other in a way that would seem playful to bystanders. These animals are ready to mate when they are about three months old, and females can give birth to several litters with an average of three pups per year. Reproduction rates are higher in years with abundant food.
Females are pregnant for less than a month before giving birth. Before that, she made a nest lined with feathers. The children were blind and hairless. They are weaned after about 25 days and by the third week after birth they are independent, although they may stay with their mother for a few more months. month prior to she delivers. Prior to that, she makes a nest lined with hair. The children are blind and furless. They’re discouraged after regarding 25 days, and by their 3rd week of life, they are independent, though they can stick with their mom for a couple of even more months.

Kangaroo Rat Population

The population data depends on the species. For example, the giant kangaroo rat is considered an endangered species. Ord’s kangaroo, which is the most common, is considered least concerned in the United States, although it is considered vulnerable in Western Canada. The Merriam kangaroo is also of least concern on the IUCN Red List but is considered an endangered species on the United States Federal List.
Finally, there are more than 20 species. The largest is the giant kangaroo rat, whose numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss. It is currently being researched.
Although its status is of least concern, the California kangaroo rat population is dwindling because of the devastating drought that affected California from 2013 to 2015. The drought has deserted grasslands that once were habitat of this kangaroo rat.
The large-eared species most closely resembles its distant cousin the Jerboa because of its large ear size.

The Fresno kangaroo is vulnerable to habitat destruction, and it is the smallest species. Its head and body are only 4 inches long.

The banner-tailed species is one of the larger species and is known for its striped tail, which wags like a banner.
Like the giant kangaroo, panamint kangaroos are different from other species because they have five toes on their hind feet. The same is true of Heermann’s kangaroos. The panamint also has an exceptionally long tail.

The chisels have 13 subspecies, and they can be distinguished from other species by the shape of their teeth. They are experts in salt washing and have developed the adaptability to push salt from plants out of the body while retaining water.

The San Quintin species is found only in Baja California and is considered very serious.

Jerboa vs. Kangaroo Rat

One reason why jerboas hibernate and kangaroo rats don’t is that jerboas don’t cache their food the way kangaroo rats do. Kangaroo rats can eat the seeds they have stored throughout the winter. Jerboas also can’t eat hard seeds, though they eat insects, grass, and mushrooms. They travel widely for food, while kangaroo rats do not like to leave their small territories. The jerboa also has three as opposed to four or five toes on its hind feet.

Some species of jerboa are sociable, such as the Greater Egyptian jerboa. They also occupy a greater variety of habitats, including marshes and pastures, than the kangaroo rat.

Kangaroo Rat FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a kangaroo mouse?

The kangaroo is a desert rodent with powerful hind legs that allow it to jump as far as a kangaroo. The animal’s long tail helps it keep balance.

What do kangaroo rats eat?

Kangaroos eat seeds and desert vegetation but will eat insects when they are not available.

What is the difference between a kangaroo and a kangaroo?

Jerboas and kangaroos are both desert rodents with powerful hind legs that allow them to jump great distances. Another difference is that Jerboa is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Some species have long ears that make it truly resemble a miniature kangaroo.

Where do kangaroos live?

Kangaroos live in the deserts of western and northwestern North America.

How many types of Kangaroo rats are there?

There are at least 22 different types of kangaroo rats.

Why don’t kangaroos drink water?

Kangaroos are adapted to get all the water they need from food, mainly seeds.

Do kangaroos die after drinking water?

It is true that a kangaroo can die after drinking water. This is because when it has too much water in its system, its body flushes it out. Unfortunately, this also deprives the animal of essential nutrients and can lead to its death.

Can you keep a kangaroo as a pet?

Some people try to keep kangaroos as pets, but unlike mice, gerbils, and hamsters, kangaroos are not the easiest pets to care for. Despite its small size, it needs plenty of space to dig and run around, and the substrate of its enclosure needs to be soft enough for it to do this. It is sensitive to temperature, must have the right amount of natural light and has a specific diet that is difficult for the owner to get. Unlike hamsters and gerbils, kangaroos do not like to be cuddled or petted.

Do kangaroo rats eat cacti?

Some species of kangaroo rats eat the pads and buds of certain types of cacti.

What is the difference between a kangaroo and a kangaroo?

The main difference between kangaroo and kangaroo is their classification, appearance and burrowing and hibernation habits. Despite their small size, kangaroos are slightly larger than kangaroos.


  1. BBC Earth, Available here: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160926-the-creatures-that-can-survive-without-water-for-years
  2. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_rat
  3. Animal Wised, Available here: https://www.animalwised.com/the-kangaroo-rat-as-a-pet-432.html
  4. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Dipodomys_ingens/
  5. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Available here: https://www.desertmuseum.org/kids/oz/long-fact-sheets/krat.php
  6. Desert USA, Available here: https://www.desertusa.com/animals/kangaroo-rat.html
  7. Oregon State University, Available here: http://people.oregonstate.edu/~terryr/2017/07/10/how-specialized-is-the-chisel-toothed-kangaroo-rat/

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