The family of rodents that include kangaroo rats, kangaroo mice and rock pocket mice is the Heteromyidae family. Most heteromyids live in complex burrows in the deserts and grasslands of western North America. Some species within the Heteromys and Liomys genera are also found in forests and can be found down as far as northern South America. They feed mostly on seeds and other plant parts, which they carry in their cheek pouches to their burrows.
Temporal range: Early Miocene–Recent
|Fresno kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides)|
Although they are very different in physical appearance, the closest relatives of the heteromyids are pocket gophers in the Geomyidae family.
- Family Heteromyidae
- Subfamily Heteromyinae
- Subfamily Dipodomyinae - Kangaroo rats and mice
- Subfamily Perognathinae - Pocket mice
- Alexander, L. F. and B. R. Riddle. 2005. Phylogenetics of the New World rodent family Heteromyidae. Journal of Mammalogy, 86:399-379.