Heteromyidae - kangaroo rats, pocket mice
There are around 62 species of rodents in this family. Despite their name, kangaroo rats and pocket mice are not rats or mice! They are nocturnal and are found in western North America, Central America, and South America.
Many species in this family are found in deserts or grasslands. They have fur-lined cheek pouches, round eyes, and round ears. Some species like the kangaroo rats, have long legs and long rear feet for jumping! They have long tails with tufts of fur on the end. Pocket mice are smaller than kangaroo rats and their don't have long rear legs and feet.
The species in this family eat seeds and plant parts. They usually store food in their cheek pouches and bring it back to their burrow. Many species in this family don't need to drink a lot of water to survive and some speci es don't need to drink water at all!
World Status Key
Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat - Dipodomys spectabilis
Desert Kangaroo Rat - Dipodomys deserti
Giant Kangaroo Rat - Dipodomys ingens
Nelson's Spiny Pocket Mouse - Heteromys nelsoni