Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Rats are a group of rodents, which have a long tail and are smaller in size as compared to mouse. The type kangaroo rat is commonly referred to as desert kangaroo rat or just desert rat. In total, there are 22 species of this rat group. They are equipped with special adaptations, which help them cope up with inhospitable environmental conditions. Do not confused them with the desert rat-kangaroo, which is an extinct species and resembles a small rabbit in size.

Desert Kangaroo Rat: Information

Despite their name, desert kangaroo rats are not related to the much larger kangaroo species. The name is given with respect to the bipedal form exhibited by these medium-sized rodents. To be more precise, desert kangaroo rats hop in the same manner as kangaroos, hence the name. More information on desert kangaroo rats coming in the next paragraphs:

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Desert Kangaroo Rat Classification
According to zoological taxonomy, these small creatures are mammals and belong to the subclass Eutheria and order Rodentia. Desert kangaroo rat, scientific name Dipodomys deserti or at times, Dipodomys deserti arizonae is classified under the family Heteromyidae. While studying desert kangaroo rat evolution, it is found that this species is unrelated to kangaroo mice (Microdipodops).

Desert Kangaroo Rat Description
The most prominent feature of desert kangaroo rat is its external fur-lined cheek pouches, which are used for temporary storage of foods. The body shape is round and plump in appearance, with brownish fur and whitish underbellies. The ears are round, hairless and the tail is longer than the overall body length (about 10 – 14 inch).

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Desert Kangaroo Rat Habitat
Native to North America, desert kangaroo rat is widely found in sandy and rocky habitats of central America as well. It is a prevalent mammal species of the dry lands of North America including the Sonoran deserts. Similar to other rodents, they live in burrows, where they remain protected from the extremely hot temperatures.

Desert Kangaroo Rat Adaptations
One of the most interesting desert kangaroo rat facts is its ability to live without water for an extended period of time. At times, it even completes its lifespan without drinking a drop of water. Consequently, it has the ability to concentrate urine four times more than human does. This way, the desert kangaroo rat derives more water from the diet. In fact, these adaptations enable them to survive in the harsh environmental conditions of the desert.

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Desert Kangaroo Rat Food
The answer to ‘what does the desert kangaroo rat eat’ highlights the adaptive behavior of this desert mammal. It hunts for food during night, when the atmospheric air is humid and cold. The food of desert kangaroo rat mainly comprises dry seeds, insects, green vegetation, etc. which are collected during the night-time. Excess foods are stored in the underground burrows.

Desert Kangaroo Rat Reproduction
Desert kangaroo rat communicates by means of high pitched noises. Its breeding period is from February to October. A healthy female lays up to 3 litters annually. After gestating for 30 days, the female gives birth to a litter of about 4 offspring’s. The young ones are born hairless and blind. In wild, they survive about 3 – 5 years.

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

Kangaroo Food Chain

If you prefer to have gritty small rodents as pets, opt for specially bred pet rats. They are derived from the original brown cats and black rats. In general, all types of wild rats are considered as pests, since they infest garden plants and destroy stored food grains. Thus, keeping a desert kangaroo rat as pet is not commonly practiced.

By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Article Source: buzzle.com