Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Craniata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae
Genus: Dipodomys

Three adaptations the Texas Kangaroo Rat has to help him survive in it's enviorment are:
1.) Big eyes: This allows the Texas Kangaroo Rat to see better at night. Since this animal is a nocturnal, their big eyes help the rat to see at night at a greater ease rather than it would with smaller eyes.
2.) Gestation Period: The Texas Kangaroo Rat is able to start reproducing at 12 weeks old and carries their offspring for 32 days. This is very beneficial so the rat has more time to produce.
3.) : The habitat that the Texas Kangaroo Rat lives in is a very dry grassland type enviorment. This means that at times it is hard for animals to find water to hydrate themselves. The Texas Kangaroo Rat has the unique ability to turn the seeds that they eat in to water and since the Texas Kangaroo Rat does not perspirate the water they collect is enough for them to survive.

The adaptation that would be most beneficial to our company and allow us to become very profitiable by selling these animals as pets. The Texas Kangaroo Rat would be a very low maintenance house pet. They are the perfect size so they can fit in a cage that would fit easily in a household. They are also extremely fuzzy, cute and friendly. But one of the main reasons for having this pet over any other pet is because they do not need much maintenance this being that the seeds you feed them can be their liquid and food.

The procedures I would follow to carry out my experiment would first be to obtain the animal. I would travel to it's local breeding ground of north Texas. Along with obtaining my species, I would also try to duplicate their original habitat which would include grass, clay, and other forms of vegetation. After collecting the species and it's habitat, I would allow the Texas Kangaroo Rat to adjust to it's newly reformed home. Once he adapted, I would begin the breeding process by having it mate with the Dipodomys. The Dipodomys is a Kangaroo Rat while the Dipodomys elator is the Texas Kangaroo Rat. Both animals are in the same family and have similar traits such as appearance, eating habbits, mating technique, etc. With this, the new species that is created would be very similar to both the Dipodomys and the Dipodomys elator plus it will be able to adapt and survive in a broader range of enviorment.

This experiment would be extremely beneficial and profitable for the company. This would be a great step in getting off the threatened species list. The new species created would enable a more variety of humans to purchase these animals because the new species can survive in various habitats.


Same as blow below.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Texas Kangaroo Rat

Hello and welcome to our behind the scenes special here on Animal Planet. You are about to see a very special sneak preview about one of one of Texas' cutest and most interesting creatures!

The Dipodomys elator, also known as the Texas kangaroo rat, is unfortunately considered to be a threatened species since they are becoming more and more rare every year. So sit back and relax as I, Cortney Mullman, take you on a mini TKR (Texas Kangaroo Rat) adventure.

(image source: http://www.desertusa.com/aug96/du_krat.html)

The Texas kangaroo rat is a vertebrate mammal and belongs to the Eukarya domain and the Animalia kingdom. He builds his home in a unique area. The Dipodomys elator builds himself a burrow made out of clay, soil and grass. But not just anywhere will they build their home; the Texas kangaroo rat builds his home at the base of a mesquite tree and uses the roots and foundation of the tree as an entrance in to the burrow. The burrows and mesquite trees are usually found in the mesquite grasslands of north west Texas.

The food that this little guy consumes are very simple types of food such as oats, seeds, grass, and other vegetables and plants. From the seeds, he is able to absorb water which is enough for him to survive. Like many other small species, the food that he gathers is usually in large amounts to store, just in case he can not leave his burrow for days, sometimes weeks, due to the presence of a predator. Their most dangerous predators are snakes, owls, and bob cats.

As you can see from the picture above, the Texas kangaroo rat is a very small mammal but is only considered to be medium sized when measured up to other species of his kind. Tannish-brown is their normal color and they average to be 12 cm in length; which includes his extra long tail that is twice the size of his body.

Bioprospectors would definitely use this animal for experiements and testing for new medicines. Not only do these creatures eat things that could be tested, but also just their habitat alone consists of brushel, grass, trees, and plants to where new discoveries would easily be found.

Although Texas kangaroo rats love hot weather and can survive extremely well in high temperatures, they as species can be affected by global warming in many ways. One of those ways is because of the rising of our Earth's temperature, global warming, many plants can not survive in too hot of weather. If global warming continues, eventually the grass will die along with plants, vegetables, and other organisms. Because these are the things that is on the Texas kangaroo rat's menu, they as a species will no longer be able to eat which will eventually cause them to starve to death.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The Texas kangaroo rat is listed as "threatened". This is mainly due to the deforestation of the mesquite brush which is where these adorable creatures reside and live.

FUN FACTS of a Texas Kangaroo Rat:

  • They are nocturnal and only come out at night so it is dark enough to hide from predators
  • Can jump to extremely high heights due to their 5 toes on hind feet
  • Love hot temperatures because their bodies do not give off sweat which is why they are mainly found in Texas
  • Live up to an average of 3 years
Thanks for watching! I hope you enjoyed the show. :o)


Texas Parks and Wildlife. 2007, April 11. Texas Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys elator). http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/kanrat/. Downloaded on July 14, 2008.

The Mammals of Texas. Date unknown. Texas Kangaroo Rat. http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/dipoelat.htm. Downloaded on July 16, 2008.

Wikipedia. 2008. June 20. Dipodomys_elator. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipodomys_elator. Downloaded on July 15, 2008.