Arizona Cotton Rat

Tucson, AZ, January 2013~ Canon Powershot SX40 HS

Distinguishing Features
Rats are larger than mice. The Arizona cotton rat is a thick-bodied rodent of medium length, with a thinly-furred tail and small ears and eyes. Its pelage is brown interspersed with black hairs.

Habitat
Cotton rats are usually seen in grassy areas near streams and ponds and around irrigated fields.

Feeding
• Diet: Cotton rats eat mostly green plants and grasses. woodrats eat mesquite beans, palo verde seeds, green plants, and cacti, particularly prickly pears and chollas, which provide them with moisture as well as food. Occasionally they eat insects or other meat.

• Behavior: Cotton rats construct little tunnels or runways in grasses and weeds where they can forage in safety.

Life History
Cotton rats are active day or night and are often found in dense populations. A high density of these rats usually attracts predators, which then reduce their numbers.

Tags

kimberly chadwick, nature, wildlife, rodent, arizona, cotton rat, mammal

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