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

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

Agile Kangaroo Rat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Dipodomys agilis
Click to enlarge. (67 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Agile Kangaroo Rats are excellent swimmers. They can run on all four feet as well as hop on their large hind feet, and if they are fleeing a predator, can make sharp turns. They are not strong diggers, so they commonly dig their burrows in loose, sandy soil. Their burrows can be extensive: one had six branches, each ending in a chamber. One chamber held a nest made of the hulls of grass seeds, and the other chambers served for food storage. The Kangaroo Rat had carried acorns, grass seeds, and flower parts to the burrow in its external, fur-lined cheek pouches, stored these items, and plugged the entrance to most of the chambers with soil.

Also known as:
Pacific Kangaroo Rat, Nimble Kangaroo Rat

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Average: 302 mm males; 295 mm females
Range: 285-320 mm males; 277-305 mm females

Average: 72 g males; 66 g females
Range: 66-72 g males; 63-78 g females


Gambel, W., 1848.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 4:77.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Dipodomys agilis

Image of Dipodomys agilis
Click to enlarge. (60kb)