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The Info List - Heteromyidae


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(i)

Dipodomyinae Heteromyinae Perognathinae

HETEROMYIDAE is a family of rodents consisting of kangaroo rats , kangaroo mice , pocket mice and spiny pocket mice . Most HETEROMYIDS live in complex burrows within the deserts and grasslands of western North America
North America
, though species within the genus Heteromys are also found in forests and their range extends down as far as northern South America . They feed mostly on seeds and other plant parts, which they carry in their fur-lined cheek pouches to their burrows.

Although they are very different in physical appearance, the closest relatives of the heteromyids are pocket gophers in the family Geomyidae.

CONTENTS

* 1 Description * 2 Distribution * 3 Behaviour * 4 Ecology * 5 Taxonomy * 6 References

DESCRIPTION

There are about fifty-nine members of the family Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
divided among six genera . They are all small rodents, the largest being the giant kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ingens) with a body length of 15 cm (6 in) and a tail a little longer than this. In many species the tail is tufted and is mainly used for balance. Other adaptations include partially fused vertebrae in the neck, short fore limbs and much enlarged bullae (bubble-shaped bones in the skull). The skulls vary widely across the group but they are all thin and papery and do not have the robust cranial crests and ridges found on the skulls of members of the family Geomyidae
Geomyidae
. The skull has other peculiarities. There is an extra hole that penetrates the rostrum , distinctive occluded teeth and the masseter muscle , which moves the lower jaw, is set far forward on the snout, an arrangement found in squirrels , beavers , pocket gophers , heteromyids and a few other groups. The dental formula is 1/1, 0/0, 1/1, 3/3 making twenty teeth in total. In the kangaroo rats, the teeth continue to grow all the time, being worn away as the animal chews. The molars have two-lobed cusps. The upper incisors are grooved and the enamel on the molars is quickly worn away by chewing leaving the dentine exposed. In the kangaroo rats they are unrooted but in the pocket mice they have roots.

Fur-lined cheek pouches are a feature across the family Heteromyidae. They have openings near the mouth and extend backwards along the sides of the neck. The fur on the animal's body is in general short and fine and often matches in colour the soil of the region in which the animal lives, being some shade of buff, pale brown, reddish-brown or grey. The spiny pocket mice have coarser fur and spiky bristles on the back near the tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Heteromyids are endemic to the western United States, Mexico, Central America and northwestern South America. They are creatures of open country, mostly specialising in prairies, arid lands and desert fringes, but the spiny pocket mice are found in both wet and dry tropical forests in Central and northwestern South America. During the Oligocene
Oligocene
, the extent of arid lands across the United States was greater than it is today and these animals occurred more widely. Fossils of kangaroo rats are known from the Pliocene
Pliocene
.

BEHAVIOUR

The kangaroo rats, kangaroo mice and pocket mice are adapted for life in deserts and other arid environments where they largely feed on dry seeds. Kangaroo rats have no need to drink because they are able to extract sufficient water from metabolising their food, obtaining half a gram of water from each gram of seeds eaten. They carry most of the seeds they find back to their burrows in exterior cheek folds lined with fur rather than in cheek pouches inside the mouth as do hamsters . This is because carrying the food in the mouth would involve wetting it and moisture needs to be conserved as much as possible in dry environments. Most species store the seeds they gather in special chambers in the burrow where they absorb moisture from the humid air. Others, such as Merriam\'s kangaroo rat , bury them in shallow caches in the open air.

It has been found that there is little hoarding done in the winter but that food is most commonly stored in the autumn and spring. Heteromyds use sight and olfactory clues to locate possible food and then use their fore-feet to manipulate objects. Kangaroo mice
Kangaroo mice
make greater use of clumped food where wind or water has concentrated seeds in shallow depressions or around rocks while pocket mice hunt around under vegetation or debris for individual food items. It has been found that pocket mice forage more efficiently than kangaroo rats and this is thought to be due to the fact that they handle their finds more and are better able to distinguish between food and non-food items.

These animals excavate long burrow systems with passages, chambers and multiple entrances. They are largely nocturnal , feeding and moving about at night and resting deep in their burrows during the day. Here it is cooler and more humid which conserves moisture and the animals may temporarily block the entrances to augment this. They are able to concentrate their urine to a viscous consistency which further reduces water loss. Under extreme conditions, some are able to aestivate in chambers under ground.

Kangaroo rats have large hind feet with long metatarsals and no first digits. With these they bound around not using their fore feet at all for locomotion. Pocket mice are smaller and can also move with leaps but they normally run around on four limbs. Members of the genus Heteromys , the spiny pocket mice, move around on all fours and do not leap at all.

ECOLOGY

Kangaroo rats and pocket mice form a part of the diet of many predatory creatures. They are eaten by foxes, coyotes, snakes and birds. They have acute hearing and can detect the approaching swoop of an owl or the movements of a snake. Many can leap to avoid the predators as they seek the safety of their underground burrows. The largest kangaroo rats can leap 2.75 metres (9 ft 0 in) in a single bound.

In the Sonoran Desert
Desert
there are many closely related species of heteromyid mice and rats. Each has its own niche in the environment which means that they do not unnecessarily compete with each other for the limited available resources. Bailey’s pocket mouse climbs into plants and bushes in order to find seeds and berries still attached to the plant. It is the only species able to eat the wax found inside the seeds of the jojoba plant. Merriam's kangaroo rat primarily moves rapidly from one bush to another gathering seed but overlooking anything lying on the desert floor. The desert pocket mouse forages across the open desert floor and gathers seeds that have fallen to the ground.

TAXONOMY

* FAMILY HETEROMYIDAE

* SUBFAMILY HETEROMYINAE — spiny pocket mice

* Genus
Genus
Heteromys

* Panamanian spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys adspersus * Trinidad spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys anomalus * Southern spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys australis * Overlook spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys catopterius * Desmarest\'s spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys desmarestianus * Gaumer\'s spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys gaumeri * Goldman\'s spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys goldmani * Mexican spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys irroratus * Nelson\'s spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys nelsoni * Cloud-dwelling spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys nubicolens * Paraguaná spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys oasicus * Mountain spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys oresterus * Painted spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys pictus * Salvin\'s spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys salvini * Jaliscan spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys spectabilis * Ecuadoran spiny pocket mouse , Heteromys teleus

* SUBFAMILY DIPODOMYINAE — kangaroo rats and mice

* Genus
Genus
Dipodomys
Dipodomys
— kangaroo rats

* Agile kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
agilis * California kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
californicus * Gulf Coast kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
compactus * Desert
Desert
kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
deserti * Texas kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
elator * San Quintin kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
gravipes * Heermann\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
heermanni * Giant kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ingens * Merriam\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
merriami * Chisel-toothed kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
microps * Nelson\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
nelsoni * Fresno kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
nitratoides * Ord\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ordii * Panamint kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
panamintinus * Phillips\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
phillipsii * Dulzura kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
simulans * Banner-tailed kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
spectabilis * Stephens\'s kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
stephensi * Narrow-faced kangaroo rat , Dipodomys
Dipodomys
venustus

* Genus
Genus
Microdipodops — kangaroo mice

* Pale kangaroo mouse , Microdipodops pallidus * Dark kangaroo mouse , Microdipodops megacephalus

* SUBFAMILY PEROGNATHINAE — pocket mice

* Genus
Genus
Perognathus

* White-eared pocket mouse , Perognathus alticola * Arizona pocket mouse , Perognathus amplus * Olive-backed pocket mouse , Perognathus fasciatus * Plains pocket mouse , Perognathus flavescens * Silky pocket mouse , Perognathus flavus * San Joaquin pocket mouse , Perognathus inornatus * Little pocket mouse , Perognathus longimembris * Merriam\'s pocket mouse , Perognathus merriami * Great Basin pocket mouse , Perognathus parvus

* Genus
Genus
Chaetodipus

* Little desert pocket mouse , Chaetodipus arenarius * Narrow-skulled pocket mouse , Chaetodipus artus * Bailey\'s pocket mouse , Chaetodipus baileyi * California pocket mouse , Chaetodipus californicus * Dalquest\'s pocket mouse , Chaetodipus dalquesti * Chihuahuan pocket mouse , Chaetodipus eremicus * San Diego pocket mouse , Chaetodipus fallax * Long-tailed pocket mouse , Chaetodipus formosus * Goldman\'s pocket mouse , Chaetodipus goldmani * Hispid pocket mouse
Hispid pocket mouse
, Chaetodipus hispidus * Rock pocket mouse , Chaetodipus intermedius * Lined pocket mouse , Chaetodipus lineatus * Nelson\'s pocket mouse , Chaetodipus nelsoni * Desert
Desert
pocket mouse , Chaetodipus penicillatus * Sinaloan pocket mouse , Chaetodipus pernix * Baja pocket mouse , Chaetodipus rudinoris * Spiny pocket mouse , Chaetodipus spinatus

Hafner et al. (2007) summarized the molecular and morphological data to date and proposed the following taxonomy:

HETEROMYIDAE

Dipodomyinae

Dipodomys
Dipodomys

Microdipodops

Heteromys

Perognathinae

Perognathus

Chaetodipus

Finding that the formerly recognized genus Liomys is paraphyletic , they subsumed it into Heteromys . Most authorities prior to this (Alexander and Riddle, 2005; Patton, 2005) treated Liomys as a separate genus.

REFERENCES

* ^ Morton, S.R.; D. S. Hinds; R. E. MacMillen (1980). "Cheek pouch capacity in heteromyid rodents". Oecologia. 46 (2): 143–146. doi :10.1007/BF00540118 . * ^ Fleming, Theodore (1984). Macdonald, D., ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 632–633. ISBN 0-87196-871-1 . * ^ " Giant kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ingens)". ARKive. Retrieved 2013-09-15. * ^ A B C D E Myers, Phil. "Heteromyidae: kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and relatives". ADW: Animal
Animal
Diversity Web. University of Michigan: Museum of Zoology. Retrieved 2013-09-15. * ^ Harris, Arthur H. (2012-11-23). "Heteromyidae—Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice". Pleistocene vertebrates of Arizona, New Mexico and Trans-pecos Texas. University of Texas at El Paso. Retrieved 2013-09-15. * ^ A B C D E Merlin, Pinau. "Heteromyidae: Kangaroo Rats & Pocket Mice". Arizona-Sonoro Desert
Desert
Museum. Retrieved 2013-09-15. * ^ Lawhon, Debra K.; Hafner, Mark S. (1981). "Tactile Discriminatory Ability and Foraging Strategies in Kangaroo Rats and Pocket Mice (Rodentia: Heteromyidae)". Oecologia. 50 (3): 303–309. JSTOR
JSTOR
4216466 . doi :10.1007/bf00344967 . * ^ " Chaetodipus baileyi". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2013-09-15. * ^ Anderson, R. P.; Gutiérrez, E. E (December 2009). "Taxonomy, Distribution, and Natural History of the Genus
Genus
Heteromys (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in Central and Eastern Venezuela, with the Description of a New Species from the Cordillera de la Costa". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History . 331: 33–93. doi :10.1206/582-2.1 . * ^ Anderson, R. P.; Timm, R. N. (2006). "A new montane species of spiny pocket mouse (Rodentia, Heteromyidae, Heteromys) from northwestern Costa Rica". American Museum Novitates . 3509: 1–38. doi :10.1206/0003-0082(2006)35092.0.CO;2 . * ^ Hafner, J. C.; Light, J. E.; Hafner, D. J.; Hafner, M. S.; Reddington, E.; Rogers, D. S.; Riddle, B. R. (2007-10-18). "Basal Clades and Molecular Systematics of Heteromyid Rodents". Journal of Mammalogy. 88 (5): 1129–1145. doi :10.1644/06-MAMM-A-413R1.1 .

* Alexander, L. F.; Riddle, B. R. (2005). "Phylogenetics of the New World rodent family Heteromyidae". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (2): 366–379. doi :10.1644/BER-120.1 . * Patton, J.L. (2005). "Family Heteromyidae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 844–858. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0 . OCLC
OCLC
62265494 .

* v * t * e

Extant families in order Rodentia

* Kingdom: Animalia * Phylum: Chordata
Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
Mammalia
* Infraclass: Eutheria
Eutheria
* Superorder: Euarchontoglires

Sciuromorpha
Sciuromorpha
("Squirrel-like")

* Aplodontiidae (Mountain beaver) * Gliridae (Dormice) * Sciuridae (Squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, susliks and prairie dogs)

Castorimorpha ("Beaver-like") Castoroidea Castoridae (Beavers) Geomyoidea Geomyidae
Geomyidae
(Pocket gophers) Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
(Kangaroo rats and mice, pocket mice)

Myomorpha ("Mouse-like") Dipodoidea Dipodidae (Jerboas, jumping mice and birch mice) Muroidea Platacanthomyidae (Oriental dormice) Spalacidae
Spalacidae
(Zokors, bamboo rats, mole rats, blind mole rats) Calomyscidae (Mouse-like hamsters) Nesomyidae (Malagasy rats and relatives) Cricetidae (Hamsters and relatives) Muridae
Muridae
(House mouse and relatives)

Anomaluromorpha ("Anomalure-like")

* Anomaluridae (Anomalures) * Pedetidae (Springhares)

Hystricomorpha
Hystricomorpha
("Porcupine-like")

* Ctenodactylidae (Gundis) * Diatomyidae (Laotian rock rat) * Hystricidae (Old World porcupines)

Phiomorpha
Phiomorpha
Bathyergidae (Blesmols) Petromuridae (Dassie rat) Thryonomyidae (Cane rats) Caviomorpha
Caviomorpha
(New World hystricognaths) Erethizontidae (New World porcupines) Caviidae (Cavies) Cuniculidae (Pacas) Dasyproctidae (Agoutis and acouchis) Dinomyidae (Pacarana) Capromyidae (Hutias) Ctenomyidae (Tuco-tucos) Echimyidae (Spiny rats) Myocastoridae (Coypu, or nutria) Octodontidae
Octodontidae
(Degus and relatives) Abrocomidae (Chinchilla rats) Chinchillidae (Chinchillas and viscachas)

* v * t * e

Extant species of family Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
(subfamily Dipodomyinae )

* Kingdom: Animalia * Phylum: Chordata
Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
Mammalia
* Order: Rodentia * Superfamily: Geomyoidea

Dipodomys
Dipodomys
(Kangaroo rats)

* Agile kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
agilis) * California kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
californicus) * Gulf Coast kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
compactus) * Desert
Desert
kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
deserti) * Texas kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
elator) * Big-eared kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
elephantinus) * San Quintin kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
gravipes) * Heermann\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
heermanni) * Giant kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ingens) * San José Island kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
insularis) * Margarita Island kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
margaritae) * Merriam\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
merriami) * Chisel-toothed kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
microps) * Nelson\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
nelsoni) * Fresno kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
nitratoides) * Ord\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
ordii) * Panamint kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
panamintinus) * Phillips\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
phillipsii) * Banner-tailed kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
spectabilis) * Stephens\'s kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
stephensi) * Narrow-faced kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys
Dipodomys
venustus)

Microdipodops (Kangaroo mice)

* Pale kangaroo mouse ( Microdipodops pallidus) * Dark kangaroo mouse ( Microdipodops megacephalus)

CATEGORY

* v * t * e

Extant species of family Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
(subfamily Heteromyinae (Spiny pocket mice) )

* Kingdom: Animalia * Phylum: Chordata
Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
Mammalia
* Order: Rodentia * Superfamily: Geomyoidea

HETEROMYS

* Panamanian spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys adspersus) * Trinidad spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys anomalus) * Southern spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys australis) * Desmarest\'s spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys desmarestianus) * Gaumer\'s spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys gaumeri) * Goldman\'s spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys goldmani) * Mexican spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys irroratus) * Nelson\'s spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys nelsoni) * Heteromys nubicolens * Paraguaná spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys oasicus) * Mountain spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys oresterus) * Painted spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys pictus) * Salvin\'s spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys salvini) * Jaliscan spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys spectabilis) * Ecuadoran spiny pocket mouse ( Heteromys teleus)

CATEGORY

* v * t * e

Extant species of family Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
(subfamily Perognathinae (Pocket mice) )

* Kingdom: Animalia * Phylum: Chordata
Chordata
* Class: Mammalia
Mammalia
* Order: Rodentia * Superfamily: Geomyoidea

CHAETODIPUS

* Little desert pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus arenarius) * Narrow-skulled pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus artus) * Bailey\'s pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus baileyi) * California pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus californicus) * Dalquest\'s pocket mouse ( Chaetodipus dalquesti) *