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Dark Kangaroo Mouse (Microdipodops megacephalus)
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Dark Kangaroo Mouse (Microdipodops megacephalus)

Description: Dark Kangaroo Mice (Microdipodops megacephalus) are tiny kangaroo rats with a fat, scantly haired tail. The head and body is small (stretching to 3 inches) and the tail is relatively long (to 4 inches), for a total length to about 7 inches). Body color is dark brown or blackish. The middle section of the tail is swollen (fat storage). Kangaroo mice move about by hopping on the hind legs like Australian kangaroos.

Taxonomy: Order: Rodentia, Family: Heteromyidae.


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Diet: Feeds mostly on seeds, but also eat a few insects. Does not require free water.

Habitat: Desert flats and the edges of dry lake beds with fine soils and sagebrush and rabbitbrush, primarily in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zone.

Range: Most of the Great Basin Desert in Nevada, southeast Oregon, northwest Utah, and the eastern edge of California.

Comments: Nocturnal. The tail is a fat-storage organ, which is unique among North American mammals.

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 111109

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