kangaroo rat

kangaroo rat


Kangaroo rat (Dipodomys).—Anthony Mercieca/Root Resources

Any of about 25 species (genus Dipodomys, family Heteromyidae) of rodents that leap about on their hind legs; found in dry regions of North America. They have large heads, large eyes, short forelimbs, long hind limbs, and fur-lined external cheek pouches that open alongside the mouth. They are 4–6.5 in. (10–16 cm) long without the long tail, which usually ends in a furry tuft. They are pale buff to brown above and white below, with a white stripe on each hip. They forage by night for seeds, leaves, and other vegetation, carrying food in their cheek pouches to store in their burrows, but seldom drink water.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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