Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Mammals > Ord's Kangaroo Rat Next
Text: Mammals.
Ord's Kangaroo Rat
Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii.
Ord's kangaroo rat, Dipodomys ordii
More Images »

Where are they found? North America

Map of the world.

Ord's kangaroo rats average 26 cm (10 in.) in length, including the long tail. The species inhabits semi-arid grasslands and scrublands in central North America. The northern limits of its distribution include the Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan and adjacent areas of Alberta.

These nocturnal rodents are primarily granivourous, which means they mostly eat grain. They live in shallow burrows that they dig in loose sand. They also store seeds in underground chambers for later use. Much of their vital water requirements are provided by their food, so they can live for prolonged periods without drinking.

They are solitary animals, quick to defend their territory and food cache. This belligerence is only relaxed during mating or by a female with her unweaned litter. Altercations with other Ord's kangaroo rats are frequent. They engage in combat by leaping into the air and slashing at each other with their powerful hind feet. Ord's kangaroo rats defy more deadly enemies (such as rattlesnakes) from a distance by vigorously kicking sand into their faces. Their powerful hind legs also allow them to flee from danger through a series of 2 m-long (6.5 ft.) hops, similar to those of a kangaroo.

More Images
Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii. Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii. Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii. Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii. Photo: Ord's Kangaroo Rat, Dipodomys ordii.

Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!

To cite this page for personal use:
“Ord's Kangaroo Rat”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous