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Dipodomys venustus

Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Dipodomys venustus
Dipodomys venustus - right (Dipodomys elephantinus - left)
Click to enlarge. (93 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


The Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat, also known as the Santa Cruz Kangaroo Rat, occurs in central coastal California where annual rainfall is 75 cm and temperatures are moderate. It requires well-drained, deep soils and is often found on slopes where chaparral, or chaparral mixed with oak or pine, grow. This Kangaroo Rat takes advantage of abandoned farm fields, but is not found in orchards or actively cultivated areas, where plowing would destroy its burrows. Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rats make burrow networks that are simple, but that include several supplementary branches where no food is cached or nests are built. The diet is almost completely the seeds of annual plants, which are cached in summer and fall.

Also known as:
Santa Cruz Kangaroo Rat

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 318 mm males; 314 mm females
Range: 295-332 mm males; 292-330 mm females

Weight:
Average: 83 g males; 82 g females
Range: 70-97 g males; 68-96 g females

References:

Merriam, C.H., 1904.  New and little known kangaroo rats of the genus Perodipus, p. 142.  Proceedings of the biological society of Washington, 17:139-145.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Dipodomys venustus

Image of Dipodomys venustus
Click to enlarge. (123kb)