No they aren’t rats or kangaroos, despite their name! These cute furry rodents have adapted well to avoid predators and to deal with the scorching heat of their desert home.
Amazing Facts About the Kangaroo Rat
- There are 20 known species of kangaroo rat.
- They live in desert climates of North America.
- The kangaroo rat gets its name as it moves in a bipedal fashion – hopping along on their hind legs like a kangaroo.
- They are very good jumpers and can leap up to 9′ (2.7m) to escape predators.
- They have adapted well to desert life. The kangaroo rat does not sweat, meaning it conserves water. In order to stay cool they stay in their burrows during the day and come out at night.
- They do not need to drink water, getting any moisture they need from the seeds they eat.
- Kangaroo rats have pouches in their cheeks to carry food back to their burrow.
- They have very good hearing which helps them avoid predators. They can even hear the beat of an owls wings!
Picture Credit: Calliopejen1 (Wiki Commons User)
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore: seeds grasses and sometimes fruit
- Size: 5" (13cm) tall, 10" (16cm) including tail
- Weight: 4.5oz (130g)
- Life Span: 5 years
- Range: North America (Mexico, USA and Canada)
- Habitat: Desert
- Scientific Name: Dipodomys spp.