Wanted: Giant Kngaroo Rat

By: Reid Zaworski

Characteristics- Giant Kangaroo Rat

Mammal. Body: 6-7.8in. Tail: 7-8.5in. Weighs about 3-6.3oz. Has buff color fur, with white belly and white stripe across the hind quarters.These rats are nocturnal to gather seeds and grains into their cheeks.Very territoral, communicates with each other by foot thumping, there are many specific kinds of foot thumping; such as short or long thumping. They thump there feet for many reasons such as identifying neighbors, showing territory, and for mating. They also use this habit for scaring off predators.

Giant Kangaroo Rat Habitat

Giant Kangaroo Rats live in the Grassland Biome and shrub communities.These animals live in the southern part of California, specifically native to San Joaquin Valley in California. The Giant Kangaroo Rats live in underground burrows. They only come out at night, during the day they close up the hole to the burrow with loose soil. These burrows are very shallow and are connected to bigger chambers.These rats are found in dry areas with little rain fall, they also like to live in well drained sandy soils.
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Interactions in Community

The Giant Kangaroo Rat is Commensalism in the environment. They help plants by enriching their nutrients by seed clippings. The Giant Kangaroo Rat is a primary Consumer and eats seeds and and grains.The Rat gets eaten by many animals such as the San Joaquin kit fox, american badgers, coyotes, weasels, burrowing owls and many other types of owls, and the snakes that live in the area of the Giant Kangaroo Rat, like the Gopher snake.

Extinction

During 20th century, Giant Kangaroo Rat population plummeted.Population plummeted due to the loss of their habitat. The loss of their desert habitat was turned into agriculture, so they couldn't live there any more.Lost 95% of former home due to overgrazing, cultivation, and mining of their home.The Giant Kangaroo Rat should be saved because it is a keystone species, which is a species that halps in providing food and habitats for other animals. It also helps plants by enriching their nutrients. The Giant Kangaroo Rat was placed on the endangered list because about 95% of its home was destroyed and made for other things, so it is confined to a small space in south California.
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Bibliography

Giant Kangaroo Rat. ARKive. October 14,2012 http://www.arkive.org/giant-kangaroo-   rat/dipodomys-ingens/image-G74773.html. Giant Kangaroo Rat. 2006 Dept. of Biological Sciences. October 14,2012 <http://esrp.csustan.edu/publications/pubhtml.php?doc=sjvrp&file=chapter02H00.html>. Harrison, George. Animal Guide: Kangaroo Rat. PBS. October 14,2012 <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/interactives-extras/animal-guides/animal-guide-giant-kangaroo-rat/2196/>. Novey, Levi. Giant Kangaroo Rat Will Be the First Endangered Species Monitored from Space. September 22,2008 Planetsave. October 14,2012 <http://planetsave.com/2008/09/22/giant-kangaroo-rat-will-be-the-first-endangered-species-monitored-from-space/>.