The Kangaroo Rat lives in arid areas. Many live in the western and southwestern deserts of the US such as California, and between the Sierra Nevada /Cacscade and Rocky mountains from southern Canada to central Mexico. The type of habitat Kangaroo Rats live in are sandy, rocky soils in deserts with little vegetation. They live in underground burrows that go in at an angle. Some Kangaroo Rats prefer to live in grass-land habitats that are well developed to support their burrows.
Kangaroo Rats have a small, plump, circular body with large back legs, a long, bushy tail, big round eyes and small, hairless ears. The colour of their fur is pale with a hint of tan, cream, and off- white. In most cases, a large stripe of white fur crosses from their hips to the base of their tail. They can be 9 to 14 inches long, weigh 1-6 oz, and have a very long tail that is usually longer than their body. The long tail helps balance the Kangaroo Rat and also help it jump longer. Like Kangaroo's, Kangaroo Rats have pouches, but instead of having them on their stomach, they have them on the sides of their cheeks. They use these pouches to help them gather and store food.
Food & Hunting
Kangaroo Rats mostly eat seeds but also eat mesquite, creosote bush, purslane, ocotillo, and grama grass. Some Kangaroo Rats eat grasses, succulents, other green vegetation and insects as well. When Kangaroo Rats gather their food, they usually store them in a cache. Caches are made in small pits on the surface of the soil. They can fit up to two cheek pouches full. Their predators include the Kit Fox, various snakes and people.
There are 22 different species of Kangaroo Rat in North America. The most popular Species are Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Chisel-Toothed Kangaroo Rat, Banner-Tailed Kangaroo Rat, Desert Kangaroo Rat, Merriam's Kangaroo Rat, San Joaquin Kangaroo Rat, Giant Kangaroo Rat.
- The Ord's Kangaroo Rat...
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