Kangaroo rat Facts

Kangaroo rat Facts
Kangaroo rat is a species of rat that belongs to the group of desert rodents. There are 23 species of kangaroo rats that are native to North America. Kangaroo rat lives in dry, arid and semi-arid habitats such as deserts, sandy and rocky areas. They can also survive in habitats such as grasslands and scrublands, located on different altitudes. Major threat to the survival of kangaroo rats is habitat loss due to increased human activity. Certain species (such as giant kangaroo rat) are listed as endangered.
Interesting Kangaroo rat Facts:
Size of kangaroo rat depends on the species. They usually reach 3.5 to 5.5 inches in length and up to 4.5 ounces in weight. Kangaroo rat has 5.5 to 6.5 inches long tail.
Kangaroo rat is covered with beige, grey, cinnamon or brown fur. Color of the fur depends on the species and the habitat (it provides camouflage). Belly is white in color.
Kangaroo rat has big head, large eyes and small ears. Their whiskers act as sensory organ which detects vibration of the ground.
Kangaroo rat is adapted to the life in arid conditions. Their kidneys produce extremely dense urine with minimal amount of water. Also, their body temperature exceeds outer temperature, which prevents loosing of water via sweating.
Kangaroo rats have short front feet and long hind feet which are designed for jumping (like kangaroos). They can jump distance of 9 feet in a single leap. Long tail is used for balancing.
Kangaroo rat uses cheek pouch to transport the food to the burrow. Collected food will be consumed when regular food is not available.
Kangaroo rats mainly consume seeds and desert beans. They occasionally eat insects.
Kangaroo rat is nocturnal creature. This is another adaptation to the life in extremely hot environment.
Kangaroo rat uses its front paws to dig underground burrows. They are very complex and include chambers for living, storing of food and nursing of the babies.
Kangaroo rat is a solitary creature that lives on a territory of 200 to 300 feet. Feet-drumming is used to announce occupation of territory. Kangaroo rats occasionally gather in large colonies composed of several hundred individuals.
Main predators of kangaroo rats are owls, badgers, coyote, foxes and weasels.
Kangaroo rat wallows in the sand to eliminate dirt and keep its fur clean.
Kangaroo rats mate during the summer, after the season of heavy rains. Females mate with more than one partner to ensure successful pregnancy. They produce several litters each season.
Pregnancy in females lasts 22 to 27 days and ends with 1 to 6 babies. Young kangaroo rats are blind and hairless at birth. They spend first few weeks of their life in the underground burrows.
Kangaroo rat can survive from 2 to 5 years in the wild.

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