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Petromuridae - dassie rat

Dassie RatThere is one species in this family. The dassie rat is found in arid and semi-arid regions southwestern Africa in Namibia, Angola, and northwest South Africa.

The dassie rat is 10-15 inches in length. It has a squirrel-like body; medium length legs with clawed feet; short, rounded ears; a yellowish nose with long black whiskers; and a long, furry tail.

The dassie rat lives in rocky outcrops and is sometimes called the rock rat. It has a flattened skull and flexible ribs that make it easy for it to squeeze into tight openings in the rocks. It lives in small colonies, usually made up of a few individuals.

The female dassie rat gives birth to a litter 2-3 fur-covered babies once a year, usually in December or January. The dassie rat babies eat solid food when they are around two weeks old.

The dassie rat is an herbivore; it eats grasses, fruit, seeds, and leaves. The dassie rat is diurnal. That means they come out to feed in the morning and the afternoon. They run and jump across the rocks alone or in pairs in search of food.

World Status Key
Least ConcernLeast Concern Near ThreatenedNear Threatened VulnerableVulnerable EndangeredEndangered Critically EndangeredCritically Endangered extinct in the wildExtinct in Wild extinctExtinct
Status and range is taken from ICUN Redlist. If no status is listed, there is not enough data to establish status.

US Status Key
Threatened in US Threatened in US Threatened in New Hampshire Threatened in NH Endangered in US Endangered in US Endangered in NH Endangered in NH breeds in nh Breeds N.H. Introduced Introduced
Status taken from US Fish and Wildlife and NH Fish and Game

  New Hampshire Species


 North/Central American Species


Other Species Around the World

Africa Africa Asia Asia Australia Australia/Oceania Europe Europe North America North America South America South America New Hampshire Species NH

Dassie Rat - Petromus typicus Least Concern Africa


Additional Information

Key: profile Profile Photos Photos Video Video Audio Audio

Dassie Rat - Petromus typicus profile Photos Least Concern Africa
The dassie rat darts into rocky crevices when it is threatened.
Source: Animal Diversity Web Intended Audience: General Reading Level: Middle School Teacher Section: Yes