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 Giant Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ingens)




Giant Kangaroo Rat | Dipodomys ingens photo
Giant Kangaroo Rat

Photograph by George Harrison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. License: Public Domain.  (view image details)

GIANT KANGAROO RAT FACTS

Description
The Giant Kangaroo Rat is listed as an endangered species. The largest of the kangaroo rats, it has brown fur with a white stripe across the hindquarters, and a white underside. The tail is dark colored on the top and bottom with white lines on each side. They use their strong hind legs for hopping.

Size
Body length 15cm -20cm. Tail: 18cm - 21cm

Environment
Scrub desert. Prefers areas with soft sandy soil covered with annual grasses and herbs. Giant kangaroo rats live in circular burrow systems called precincts. Colonies usually have 5 to 50 precincts.

Food
seeds, grain, native desert plants.

Breeding
One to six young are born in a burrow after gestation period of 28 - 32 days. The young are weaned after 15 - 25 days. Giant Kangaroo Rats can live up to 10 years.

Range
limited to central California

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "critically endangered".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Rodentia
Family:Heteromyidae
Genus:Dipodomys
Species:ingens
Common Name:Giant Kangaroo Rat