kangaroo rat

noun

Definition of kangaroo rat 

: any of a genus (Dipodomys) of nocturnal burrowing rodents of arid parts of western North America that travel by hopping on their long hind legs and have a long tail and fur-lined cheek pouches

Illustration of kangaroo rat

Illustration of kangaroo rat

Examples of kangaroo rat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

San Diego animals like the Arroyo toad and the Stephens’s kangaroo rat can greatly benefit from long-term monitoring. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego Zoo studies return of the giant panda," 6 July 2018 The San Quintin kangaroo rat was last spotted in 1986. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "California researchers accidentally find 'feisty' rodent thought to have gone extinct 30 years ago," 20 Apr. 2018 But last summer, researchers from the museum captured four San Quintín kangaroo rats during routine surveys. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "This Kangaroo Rat Was Just Spotted For the First Time in 30 years," 1 May 2018 Some species, like the kangaroo rat, can survive without drinking water for years by obtaining it instead from its food. Theresa Laverty, Smithsonian, "Where Clean Drinking Water Is Hard To Find, Bats Could Lead the Way," 2 May 2018 The last time anyone saw the San Quintin kangaroo rat was more than 30 years ago, in the arid scrublands of Baja California, Mexico. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Supposedly extinct kangaroo rat resurfaces after 30 years," 30 Apr. 2018 He and friends drove backcountry roads looking for amphibians after a rain, and collected kangaroo rats with baseball caps. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Natural History Museum plans biodiversity blitz," 6 Mar. 2018 The area is part of an arid empire of Joshua trees, cactus, bobcats, tortoises and kangaroo rats hemmed by steep slopes, dry lakes and arroyos fringed with creosote bush. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "L.A. County set to build its first new freeway in 25 years, despite many misgivings," 10 Feb. 2018 But some spry little kangaroo rats were not so keen on becoming these snakes' next meals. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Watch the 6 Most Gripping Animal Battles of 2017," 19 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kangaroo rat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of kangaroo rat

1867, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kangaroo rat

Share kangaroo rat

Statistics for kangaroo rat

Last Updated

4 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kangaroo rat

The first known use of kangaroo rat was in 1867

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on kangaroo rat

See words that rhyme with kangaroo rat

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kangaroo rat

Comments on kangaroo rat

What made you want to look up kangaroo rat? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!