kangaroo rat


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Related to kangaroo rat: Desert Kangaroo Rat

kangaroo rat,

small, jumping desert rodent, genus Dipodomys, related to the pocket mousepocket mouse,
small jumping rodent of W North America and as far south as N South America. More closely related to the squirrel than the true mouse, the pocket mouse gets its name from the fur-lined cheek pouches in which it carries its food. It varies in length from 3 to 12 in.
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. There are about 20 kangaroo rat species, found throughout the arid regions of Mexico and the S and W United States. Kangaroo rats have large, mouselike heads with big eyes, external fur-lined cheek pouches for food storage, and extremely long, tufted tails. In many species the tail is longer than the combined head and body length. The total length, including the tail, is 10 to 15 in. (25–37.5 cm), depending on the species. The front limbs are very short and the back limbs extremely long and stiltlike. The animal moves by long leaps, like a kangaroo, using its tail for balance and as a rudder for turning at high speeds. Kangaroo rats have long silky fur, pale brown above and white beneath, with black and white tail tufts and black face markings. Solitary, nocturnal creatures, they live in burrows by day and forage at night for seeds, grass, and tubers. Active hoarders, they sometimes dry their food in shallow pits just below the surface of the ground, then dig it up and store it in their burrows. Like a number of other desert animals, the kangaroo rat has physiological mechanisms for conserving the water that it obtains from food or produces metabollically, so that it does not need to drink. A related genus, Microdipodops, is called the kangaroo mouse, or dwarf kangaroo rat. It is about 6 in. (15 cm) in total length and is found in the Great Basin of the W United States. Kangaroo rats are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Heteromyidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Density of the giant kangaroo rat was estimated in trapping sessions during April and August each year using the robust design with heterogeneity estimator in program RMark (J.
Because nearly all kangaroo rat species do not climb, fruit removal by these species is likely confined to years of high fruit production when they fall to the ground (Borchert and DeFalco 2016).
Fish and Wildlife Service 1998) that has not been previously evaluated, we conducted a genetic study among populations of the giant kangaroo rat from six sites in the southern San Joaquin Valley and compared our results to the other two metapopulations that had been studied (Good et al.
Since the kangaroo rat gained federal protection under the Endangered Species Act, natural resources managers at Camp Pendleton have worked closely with the U.
A kangaroo rat may sometimes defend its caches from other kangaroo rats trying to steal them.
It was shown more than five decades ago in studies of how the corticomedullary osmotic gradient is generated, that luminal fluid near the bend of thin limbs of Henle's loop of hamster, kangaroo rat, and sand rat is nearly isoosmotic with fluid of the inner medullary interstitium, collecting ducts, and blood vessels at the same level.
Results of assays for arenavirus RNA in the kidneys of the antibody-positive Nelson's pocket mice and the antibody-positive kangaroo rat were negative.
elator (2) at the ungrazed site concurs with Packard & Roberts (1973) observation that the Texas kangaroo rat and hispid cotton rat rarely co-occur.
When a kangaroo rat does have to venture out, its ears and tail give off heat like radiators.
1991); bannertail kangaroo rat, Dipodomys spectabilis (Lockard and Owings 1974); greater Egyptian sand gerbil, Gerbillus pyramidum (Kotler et al.
The kangaroo rat, which lives in the desert of southeastern Arizona, is so good at conserving water that it doesn't have to drink at all.