IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Brief Summary

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Description

"Also known as the Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat and the Tulare Kangaroo Rat, Heermann's Kangaroo Rats live in many different kinds of habitats in southern California. Although they often take advantage of tunnels dug by ground squirrels, they also dig their own. Burrows can be more than 10 m long and rather labyrinthine, with loops and side branches. Most have areas for dust-bathing nearby, which the animals often use after foraging. An individual may spend only one hour in 24 outside its burrow. These Kangaroo Rats breed from February to October and have litters of 2 or 3 young. They are naked at birth. Fine hairs start to appear when they are three days old, and their eyes open in about two weeks. Weaning begins soon after, and when they are about 40 days old they learn to dig, excavating small pits with their forefeet. When they are 20 weeks old they are full grown, with an adult's coat of fur."

Adaptation: "The second through the fourth neck vertebrae of Heerman's kangaroo rat are fused, probably to rigidify the spine as an adaptation to their leaping style of cursorial locomotion."

Links:
Mammal Species of the World
Click here for The American Society of Mammalogists species account

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© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

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