The TEXAS KANGAROO RAT (Dipodomys elator) is a rodent of the family
Heteromyidae . It is endemic to
Texas where it lives in association
with mesquite brush and in areas with firm clay-loam soils. It is a
relatively large kangaroo rat that ranges in size from approximately
60 grams to 95 or more. Males and females of this species are sexually
dimorphic, males being larger than females. Its distribution is within
Texas and it is only found within 13 counties. It was
formerly found in Oklahoma, but is thought to have since been
extirpated . The species is listed as threatened by the
and Wildlife Department and the
IUCN lists the species as vulnerable.
Little is known about the species ecology and there are many
differing ideas when it comes to this. One of the main arguments is
concerning mesquite. Although it does occur in conjunction with
mesquite, some studies indicate that their burrows are found only
under mesquite bushes while others indicate that there is not this
tight-knit association. As the more recent studies have concluded the
latter, this is probably more realistic.
The rat has been shown in a study that analyzed cheek pouch contents
of several individuals to eat leaves of grasses and some perennials,
stems, and seeds. Seeds of Johnson grass and cultivated oats make up
the largest part of their diet. Breeding has not been studied
extensively but generally they have a promiscuous mating system,
mature early, mate all year with peaks in spring and summer, and have
about 3 young per brood.
One of the largest threats that this organism faces is habitat loss
and degradation due to grazing and agriculture within Texas. Grazing
is a large issue because the cattle eat the grasses that they feed on
and cattle ranchers will clear the mesquite they are associated with.
They clear the Mesquite Bosques and individual trees because it can
stunt grass growth. This is an area that should be researched more in
order to better understand their habitat selection and the effect that
these land-use practices have on organism.
* ^ Linzey, A. V.; NatureServe (Wahl, R.; Roth, E.; Hammerson, G. &
Horner, P. (2008). "Dipodomys elator".
IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature
. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
* ^ Patton, J.L. (2005). "Family Heteromyidae". In Wilson, D.E.;
Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic
Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 845. ISBN
OCLC 62265494 .
* Mammals of Texas.
Texas Kangaroo Rat
* Carter, D.C., W.D. Webster, J.K. Jones, Jr., C. Jones, and R.D.
Suttkus.1985. Dipodomys elator.Mammalian Species 232:1–3.
* Chapman, B.R. 1972. Food Habits of Loring's Kangaroo Rat,
Dipodomys elator. Journal of Mammalogy 53:877–880.
* Dalquest, W.W. and G. Collier. 1964. Notes on Dipodomys elator, a
rare kangaroo rat. The Southwestern Naturalist 9:146–150.
* Goetze, J. R., W.C. Stasey, A.D. Nelson, and P.D. Sudman. 2007.
Habitat attributes and population size of
Texas kangaroo rats on an
intensely grazed pasture in Wichita County, Texas.
Texas Journal of
* Martin, R.E. and K.G. Matocha.1991. The
Texas kangaroo rat,
Dipodomys elator, from Motley Co., Texas, with notes on habitat
attributes. The Southwestern Naturalist 36:354–356.
* Martin, R.E. and K.G. Matocha. 1972. Distributional status of the
kangaroo rat, Dipodomys elator. Journal of Mammalogy 53:873–877.
* Moss, S.P. and P. Mehlhop-Cifelli. 1990. Status of the Texas
kangaroo rat, Dipodomys elator (Heteromyidae), in Oklahoma. The
Southwestern Naturalist 35:356–358.
* Roberts, J.D. and R.L. Packard. 1973. Comments on movements, home
range and ecology of the
Texas kangaroo rat, Dipodomys elator Merriam.
Journal of Mammalogy 54:957–962.
* Stangl, F.B., T.S. Schafer, J.R. Goetze, and W. Pinchak. 1992.
Opportunistic use of modified and disturbed habitat by the Texas
kangaroo rat (Dipodomys elator). The
Texas Journal of Science
* Webster, D. and K. Jones. 1985. Nongeographic variation,
reproduction, and demography in the
Texas kangaroo rat, Dipodomys
elator (Rodentia: Heteromyidae). The
Texas Journal of Science
Extant species of family
* Kingdom: Animalia
* Order: Rodentia
Agile kangaroo rat (Dipodomys agilis)
California kangaroo rat (Dipodomys californicus)
Gulf Coast kangaroo rat (Dipodomys compactus)
Desert kangaroo rat (Dipodomys deserti)
Texas kangaroo rat (Dipodomys elator)
Big-eared kangaroo rat (Dipodomys elephantinus)
San Quintin kangaroo rat (Dipodomys gravipes)
* Heermann\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys heermanni)
Giant kangaroo rat
Giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens)
San José Island kangaroo rat (Dipodomys insularis)
Margarita Island kangaroo rat (Dipodomys margaritae)
* Merriam\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami)
Chisel-toothed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys microps)
* Nelson\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nelsoni)
Fresno kangaroo rat
Fresno kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides)
* Ord\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii)
Panamint kangaroo rat (Dipodomys panamintinus)
* Phillips\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys phillipsii)
Banner-tailed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys spectabilis)
* Stephens\'s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys stephensi)
Narrow-faced kangaroo rat (Dipodomys venustus)
Pale kangaroo mouse (Microdipodops pallidus)
Dark kangaroo mouse (Microdipodops megacephalus)
* Wd : Q307345
* ADW : Dipodomys_elator
ARKive : dipodomys-elator
* EoL : 328081
* GBIF : 2439549
* ITIS : 180237
IUCN : 6675
* MSW : 12700019