Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Rodentia · Heteromyidae · Dipodomys californicus
   Smithsonian Institution
   Copyright Notice
   Privacy Notice
Dipodomys californicus

California Kangaroo Rat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Dipodomys californicus
Click to enlarge. (87 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

California Kangaroo Rats require open areas away from the humidity of the coast in northern California and southern Oregon. They seem to need well-drained soil, and after a rain can be seen pushing mud out of their burrows. Cold, wet winter weather can be a cause of mortality. California Kangaroo Rats eat seeds, berries, green vegetation, and small tubers, and store food in very small and scattered caches. This Kangaroo Rat has a broad face and dark fur, and its tail has a distinct white tuft on the end.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Average: 307.3 mm males; 304.8 mm females
Range: 260-340 mm

Range: 60-85 g


Merriam, C.H., 1890.  Descriptions of three new kangaroo rats, with remarks on the identity of Dipodomys ordii of Woodhouse, p. 49.  North American Fauna, 4:41-49.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Dipodomys californicus