Giant Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys ingens)
The giant kangaroo rat, which is native to California, uses its bushy tail as a rudder to help it make sudden turns when it’s leaping across the desert. It has big pouches in its cheeks where it stores its food and materials for building its nest, and it takes dust baths to keep its skin conditioned.
Giant kangaroo rats are critically endangered, thanks entirely to destruction of their San Joaquin Valley habitat by humans. In fact, 95 percent of the kangaroo rat’s habitat is gone now, due to farming, ranching, mining, and the introduction of invasive species.
Love the website. You’ve now been added to my, ‘things to read before I try and do anything useful in the morning’ list.
I hadn’t heard of this species before but it seems very similar to the Long-Eared Jerboa (Euchoreutes Naso). Link goes to my site, Poosk, and my picture of the Jerboa.
You might also like the Pink Fairy Armadillo
Finally, I look forward to you doing the Teledu, also known as the “stinking badger of Java & Sumatra”.
Thank you for the comments, Chris! I saw the footage of the long-eared jerboa last week, and I’m going to draw it soon. It’s so adorable and strange. I think it is related to the kangaroo rat. Thanks also for bringing the pink fairy armadillo and the teledu to my attention! I’m adding them to the list, too.
I love your drawings of the strange critters.