Ord’s Kangaroo Rat is most commonly seen hopping across a road at night, especially in a dry sandy area such as you might find near Zion National Park. Since they love to be in a desert climate, you are much more likely to find an Ord’s Kangaroo Rat in Zion than in Bryce Canyon National Park. With a 4 inch Head and a 6 inch tail and two extraordinarily large hind feet, the Ord’s Kangaroo Rat is the most common of the kangaroo rats and has been observed leaping over two feet at one bound, sometimes even changing directions in midair! They are a light brown above and white underneath, with a long, striped, tufted tail and have tiny ears and a light patch behind each eye.
Not only are the Ord’s Kangaroo Rats able to jump quite well, but they also are noteworthy for their ability to stuff seeds into an external cheek pouch (that is, the cheek pouch is on the outside of their cheeks) and carry them into burrows to be stored for a later date.
The Ord’s Kangaroo Rat uses burrows as a means of shelter during the daylight hours and are nocturnal. They almost never drink water, but receive their hydration from the digestion of their food.
The Ord’s Kangaroo Rat receives its name from its Latin name: Dipodomys ordii