Summer burrows of Ord's Kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii) in Western Nebraska: Food content and structure

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extent of larder hoarding differs among species of kangaroo rats, and limited information is available for food stored in burrows by Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii)-the most widespread species of Dipodomys. I excavated 9 burrows recently used by adult D. ordii during summer in the Sandhill Region of Nebraska. I observed only small quantities of food stored in burrows. Eight of 9 burrows contained segments of sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus) in limited quantities. These segments consisted of upper leaves with fruits (containing seeds) housed in sheaths. My observations represent the first documentation of D. ordii storing food in burrows under natural conditions. Compared to the burrows of other species of kangaroo rat, burrows of D. ordii were simple in structure with 1 main tunnel and 1-3 entrances. In summer, Ord's kangaroo rats commonly harvest seeds from plants in the Sandhill Region of Nebraska, but individuals apparently do not store large quantities of food in burrows, which suggests they store food in scatter hoards during this season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-474
Number of pages6
JournalWestern North American Naturalist
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Burrows
  • Dipodomys ordii
  • Food hoarding
  • Foraging
  • Kangaroo rat
  • Nebraska
  • Sporobolus cryptandrus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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