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Neotoma cinerea - The Pack Rat

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  • Neal Robbins
            These links have photos of Neotoma cinerea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Neotoma_cinerea.jpg  
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 1, 2009
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          These links have photos of Neotoma cinerea.
      [Note - These images can be enlarged by clicking on them.] 
          Neotoma cinerea (Ord 1815) is often called the Pack Rat. This rodent is native to the U.S.A. and Canada. It is found as far south as Arizona and New Mexico. The Pack Rat lives as far east as the Dakotas and Nebraska. Its habitats include grasslands, shrublands, and forests. Neotoma cinerea is known to live at altitudes of up to 4,300 m. (14,000 feet). It makes its nests in rock crevices or middens. However, it has been known to reside in attics or basements of buildings. The Pack Rat is largely nocturnal, but is sometimes seen during the day.
          The Pack Rat likes to collect shiny objects. If it finds an item that is shiny, the Pack Rat will drop what is has been carrying and take the shiny item to its nest. Coins and spoons are among the things that it collects.
          The coloration is generally brown, but there are some black hairs on the upper portion of the body. The feet and underside are white. Neotoma cinerea has a length of 30-46 cm. (11-18 inches). It weighs up to 600 g. (1.3 pounds).
          The diet of the Pack Rat includes leaves, shoots, fruits, nuts, cactus, mushrooms, and seeds. Sometimes it eats insects. Neotoma cinerea does not have to drink water. It obtains water from the foods that it consumes.
          The Breeding season starts in May and goes through August. Gestation takes about 5 weeks. The female bears a litter of 2-6. She generally gives birth to three at a time.
          This publication is a reference:
      G.G. Musser and M. Carlton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In Mammal Species of the World - A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
          Neal Robbins

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