|Kangaroo Rats (Dipodomys spp)|
DESCRIPTION: Vary in size depending on the species. For example, the small, Merriam's Kangaroo Rat weighs only (38-47g) whereas the large, Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat weighs (98-132g), more than three times the weight. Overall buff above and white below with a very long tail and large head and eyes.
NATURAL HISTORY: Herbivorous, especially seeds, which they can store in their large, external cheek pouches to bring back to their deep burrows. The seeds then absorb moisture in the kangaroo rat's humid burrow. Nocturnal. Most species never have to drink free water; they are so good at conserving water that they can live off the water they get from their diet. One way of conserving water is having kidneys that concentrate their urine. Kangaroo rats get their name from their rat-like appearance and their mode of transport. They hop on their two hind legs, using their long tail as counter-balance just like kangaroos.