|White-Throated Woodrat (Packrat) (Neotoma albigula)|
DESCRIPTION: L=11-16" (283-400 mm). Also called "Packrat." Grayish-brown in color, with white feet and throat. Medium-length tail is short-haired, gray above and white below.
NATURAL HISTORY: Mostly herbivorous. Nocturnal. Solitary. Look for their burrows or rock shelters that have the entrance covered by cactus segments. In rock shelter, where there is little decomposition, one can find packrat middens which are urine-hardened masses of plant and animal material. Middens form as generations of packrats habitually urinate in a single area. As the urine evaporates, it becomes sticky and plant and animal debris may stick to it. Over many 1000s of years, a large mass accumulates and scientists can analyze the midden to follow the changes in plants and animals in a given location over 1000s of years.
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