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Great Basin pocket mouse        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Pocket mice (genera Perognathus and Chaetognathus), along with the kangaroo rats and kangroo mice, form the Heteromyid family. All are burrowing rodents that are specialized for seed-eating, and all have external fur-lined cheek pouches for seed transport.   Kangaroo rats are highly specialized for bipedal (hopping) locomotion; pocket mice are essentually quadrapedal.   Kangaroo rats tend to stay in open areas while pocket mice often use more brushy parts of the habitat.   This species, the Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus), is found in arid shrublands in the western US.   I photographed these P. parvus on a birdseed bait near the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab in Mono County, California.

These links lead to images of Stephens' kangaroo rat, Ord's kangaroo rat, and Panamint kangaroo rat.

  • Canon 1D Mk. II, 500 IS lens and extension tubes, plus 1.4X converter and electronic flash (2006)