Skip to main content

Kangaroo Rat

Not kangaroos, yet not actual rats, Kangaroo Rats are rodents of the genus Dipodomys. There are currently around 20 known species, all of whom live in arid regions of the American West and Southwest. California is especially rich in species.

(Image Source)
Kangaroo Rats are well adapted to their dry environments. They have kidneys that are extremely efficient; they are able to dispose waste without wasting precious water. They are able to take in water from the food they eat, and are able to store that food for long amounts of time in  cheek pouches. They also neither sweat nor pant as they would result in water loss. Kangaroo Rats get their name from the fact that they bounce around on their hind legs much like the large marsupials. They are able to jump several times their own body length, sometimes over six feet, to escape predators, and they have especially long tails that help for balance.

Kangaroo Rats are solitary animals and live in burrow and in territories that they defend. They use their powerful hind legs to kick sand at and attack trespassers. The sand technique is also used when fleeing from predators. They do have numerous natural predators including Coyotes, Snakes, and Owls.

Females may have three litters a year, and the overall life expectancy is between two and five years. Kangaroo Rats are not currently threatened.


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!


The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe