Desert Rodents

European Mole talpa

Desert rodents are well adapted to live in hot, dry, sandy conditions. three common desert rodent groups are hopping mice, kangaroo rats and jerboas.

Hopping mice are native to Australia. These mice are also referred to as Australian kangaroo rats. This does not make sence to me. They have long tails, large hind feet and are typically light brown in color. These tiny rodents are threatened as a species, due to the colonization of Europeans, as well as the proliferation of predators, such as foxes and house cats. Over half of the species have gone extinct.

Kangaroo rats are similar to hopping mice in their ability to jump, as well as their appearance. They have long tails, and are light brown in color. The kangaroo rat is native to North America and can survive in very harsh desert conditions. Kangaroo rats need very little water to exist. They get most of their moisture from the foods they eat. They also burrow deep underground to stay cool in the desert sun. Kangaroo rats are different from other desert rat species in that they have the ability to store seeds and grain in their cheek pouches. They empty these pockets with their paws into their food storage areas in their burrows. Kangaroo rats hoard food and are very efficient when they metabolize food and water.

Jerboas are another type of desert rodent. Found in Asia and North Africa, these rodents are nocturnal. Some species live in the world's harshest deserts Are the harshests deserts in Asia and North Africa? Yes, the Sahara and the Gobi are considered two of the world's harshest deserts and they are in N. Africa and Asia. and have adapted by not needing water at all. They draw all necessary moisture from the food that they eat. Some jerboas will also hibernate during the hottest months of the year. They live in deep underground burrows, as much as 8 feet below the surface and will rest there during the heat of the day, then come out at night to gather food.