The Giant Kangaroo Rat is one of over twenty species of kangaroo rats. They are a small member of the rodent family and, like the name suggests, they move around by hopping on their back feet.. Similarly to kangaroos, their front legs are shorter than their back ones, which they use for digging. Their back legs are very strong and, and their tail is used for balance. The Giant Kangaroo Rat is the largest of it’s species, it’s head to body length averaging from twelve to fifteen inches. Their ling tail can be as long as seven and a half inches. With their powerful hind legs they can jump over six feet in the air. This helps in it’s escape from predators. IT has a large head and large eyes, while it’s ear are small ad rounded. The tail is dark with white stripes along the side.
These rats are found in dry, sandy grasslands. They are able to burrow in loose soil. They live in large groups or colonies, and they are able to communicate by beating their feet on the ground. This can be taken as an alert that predators are near by. They are day animals and are hardly seen at night.
This rat’s consists mainly of seeds, leave, stems, and buds of plants. The most common plant eaten by these reat’s is pepper grass. This species rarely drinks for they get most of their water from the plants they eat. Their lifespan is about four years.
This species is only found in one area between the Carrizo Plain and the city of Taft, a five square mile radius that is located in California. This area is legally protected, but it’s threatened by habitat loss due to agricultural development.