Kangaroo Rat

Alstrom Point, Lake Powell – Part 5 The Kangaroo Rat

One of the few creatures you will find up on Alstrom Point is the Kangaroo Rat. Another is the Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake, so be careful.

The Kangaroo Rat is neither a Kangaroo nor a Rat, but it is definitely a hopping rodent. This particular one found our campsite at night and despite our best efforts to keep the area clean managed to find some tidbits. He was slightly timid, would move quickly, freeze, grab some morsel and hop away with lightning speed to an unseen burrow.

Alstrom Point Kangaroo Rat
Alstrom Point Kangaroo Rat at night

Kangaroo Rats are very well suited to the desert. They survive simply by breaking down the seeds they eat with their metabolism and do not need to drink water! They can also conserve water by lowering their metabolic rate when hot and dry.

I’m not sure which specific species this is but you can find more information on the Wikipedia Kangaroo Rat page. My guess would be a Merriam’s Kangaroo Rat.

Unfortunately later that evening we heard a slight rattle of a Western Diamondback and upon investigating a juvenile was located with the tail of this fuzzy snake-snack protruding out of his jaws. Sorry little guy.

Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat

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