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Merriam's Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys merriami


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Merriam's Kangaroo Rat
credit: Baiken/CCSA

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Family: Heteromyidae, Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats view all from this family

Description A relatively small, four-toed, slender-footed, and usually buff-colored kangaroo rat. The tail is much longer than head and body, ending with a dusky to dark tuft at the tip. Body has dorsal and ventral dusky stripes, and the underparts are white. Smaller than most four-toed kangaroo rats, with a dark (not white)- tipped tail.

Dimensions 195-282mm, 120-182mm, 33-54g

Endangered Status The San Bernardino Merriam's Kangaroo Rat, a subspecies of Merriam's Kangaroo Rat, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California. This subspecies has declined as its habitat in southern California has been overtaken by development and altered by dam construction and other water-managment practices.

Similar Species Different from the San Joaquin Valley Kangaroo Rat by range, body size, and color pattern on the tail.

Habitat Deserts, Scrub, shrub & brushlands

Range Southwest, Texas, California

Discussion The subspecies from the San Bernardino Mountains (D. m. parvus) is Endangered. Occupies a wide variety of soil types and habitats in the Southwest.