What is a Pack Rat a Rodent

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Informaiton about a pack rat a rodent. What is Wood rat or pack rat.

Pack Rat

Pack Rat

Pack Rat or Wood Rat, a large rat of the family Cricetidae, superficially like the Norway rat, but distinguished by the large eyes, hairy ears, and well-furred or bushy tail. Pack rats are restricted to North America, where they are found in variable habitats, from the desert floor to the rocky slopes above timberline. The vernacular name refers to the animal’s habit of collecting various objects and “packing” them to the den site. At higher elevations the animal usually is associated with rock slides or cliffs, or even with low branches of trees. The lodge or nest is made of an accumulation of sticks, leaves, cacti, and any debris available.

Pack rats are seldom associated with the habitation of man, but may nest in unused cabins or old outbuildings in remote areas. They are essentially nocturnal, foraging after dark for fruits, nuts, leaves, and other edibles. In desert regions, cacti are frequently eaten. Usually two litters, of two to four young, are produced each year. Pack rats seldom occur in agricultural regions, and so are of little concern to man. They are favored food of predatory birds, mammals, and snakes. The eastern species, occurring from New York to Florida, usually is known as a wood rat.

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