| As its common name implies, the San Jose Island Kangaroo Rat occurs on, and only on, San Jose Island, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Experts are still debating whether this restricted island population should be considered a species distinct from Merriam's Kangaroo Rat, which it most closely resembles, or a subspecies of Dipodomys merriami. This dilemma - how to classify very closely related taxa - is also a reminder that the evolution of species is a time-dependent process, not an instantaneous event. Should this isolated population survive for millennia into the future, taxonomists (should they, too, survive) will no doubt agree upon its species status, as time and genetic isolation will propel this group down its own evolutionary pathway.
Males are larger than females.
Merriam, C.H., 1907. Descriptions of ten new kangaroo rats, p. 77. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 20:75-80.
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