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Merriam's kangaroo rat        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Kangaroo rats (genus Dipodomys) are a group of burrowing North American rodents specialized for seed-eating.   They are named for their hopping locomotion and have large hind feet, long tails, and short front limbs used mainly for gathering seeds, which are carried in fur-lined external cheek pouches (some of these photographs show very full pouches).   All kangaroo rats closely resemble each other.   This is the desert-dwelling Merriam's kangaroo rat (D. merriami), which lives in dry deserts in the American southwest.  It's one of the smallest species, weighing 30-40 g as an adult.   This one was at the Boyd Deep Canyon research station, near Palm Desert (Riverside County, California).

These links lead to images of Stephens', Dulzura, Panamint, Ord's, short-nosed, and giant kangaroo rats, and the related Great Basin pocket mouse.

  • Canon 1D Mk. II 7D2, or 5D4, 500 IS or 800 mm IS lens with extension tubes or 1.4X converter, electronic flash (2007, 2017)