Kangaroo Rat? Now isn't that just the funniest name ever! It even seems a bit contradictory. When we think of a kangaroo we think of a tall mammal with a pouch that hops around on two feet and usually packs a pretty nasty punch.
When we think of a rat, we think of a medium sized rodent that runs really fast on all four feet and likes to eat at fairs. Although, I have heard rats pack a pretty nasty bite.
This is one of my daughters favorite "babies." I'm actually surprised that we don't have them painted all over our walls!
These little creatures are extremely intelligent when it comes to survival. When there are seeds readily available to them, they will fill their little cheek pouches with food, run back to their burrows and create a little cache of food for later. Since they require no alternate water source, they can live quite comfortably this way.
They have excellent hearing and can jump up to 9 feet. Because of their acute senses coupled with their ability to leap so high, they can often avoid being harmed by many predators. Unfortunately, they are a desirable meal for many other animals.
A Few Facts About Kangaroo Rats
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- Length: 9 - 14 inches (including tail)
- Weight: 1 - 6 ounces
- Lifespan: up to 5 years
- Their tail is longer than their head & body
- They use their tails to balance on their tiny feet
- There are 19 - 22 species of Kangaroo Rats (varies depending on source)
- Kangaroo Rats convert the dry seeds they eat into water
- Can survive in the desert with no water at all
- Lives in Western & Southwestern US
- Most Kangaroo Rat species are NOT ENDANGERED
Only the Giant Kangaroo Rat is ENDANGERED
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Find a Zoo with Kangaroo Rats
For many of us, the only place we will most likely see a Kangaroo Rat is in a zoo.
Here are a few zoos that I know care for Kangaroo Rats.
Zoos with Kangaroo Rats
- Bronx Zoo
Explore animal habitats that transport you to the wild by visiting Bronx Zoo exhibits & attractions. Our exhibits recreate wild places from the mountaintops of Nepal to the heart of Africa.
- California Living Museum
- Saint Louis Zoo