Ord's Kangaroo Rat Ord's Kangaroo Rat

The sole kangaroo rat species in Wyoming! Watch out Super Man!

Fun Critter Facts

Wyoming's sole species of kangaroo rat (there are around 20 separate species in North America), the Ord's kangaroo rat is a species tied to sandy soil types and sand dune habitats throughout the state.  They can be abundant in certain areas, especially in desert scrub, stabilized dunes and arid grasslands.

- As their name implies, kangaroo rats are blessed with very long hind feet and tail and are amazing jumpers.  Their tail makes up >50% of their total length and is used as a balance during bipedal locomotion.  Their feet also allow for good footing on sandy soils and dunes, giving them an advantage over less equipped predators.  Ord's kangaroo rats have been documented to leap more than 9 feet in a single bound, aiding them in escape. 

- Kangaroo rats are nocturnal rodents, being most active above ground during warmer months. They are amazingly adapted to arid environments and have physiological adaptations that prevent loss of moisture, including adaptations to the kidneys and the lack of sweat glands.

- Ord's kangaroo rats are primarily granivores, with around 75% of their diet made up by seeds.  They almost never drink free water, getting their moisture from the foods they consume.  A very limited portion (<5%) of their diet consists of animal material (primarily insects).  The remainder of their diet consists of other plant materials.   

- Litters for Ord's kangaroo rats usually maxes out at around 5 or 6, and females may give birth to up to five litters per year.  

- Ord's kangaroo rats are preyed upon by a long list of other species, ranging from swift foxes, badgers, bobcats, and coyotes, to gopher snakes, rattlesnakes and raptors, especially owls.  While they have been documented to live in excess of 8 years in captivity, this is rare.  Kangaroo rats in the wild rarely make it to their third year.

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