Monday, March 8, 2010

Two varieties of Pack Rats-two legged and four legged!

Pack rats come in two varieties-two legged and four legged.The two legged variety is very common here in Arizona, but today is found all over the country and beyond. This human species of pack rat looks and acts like other human beings with the exception that they are compulsive collectors. These people thrive on junk and clutter. While their homes and offices will never make the pages of style magazines, they can be good people and many times have items that most people discarded ages ago.

Now the four legged variety of pack rat is less known and is confined to the Southwest and is noted for its habit of collecting bright, shiny objects and leaving other objects, such as nuts or pebbles, in their place; they are also called trade rat or wood rat. Most common in the southwest, the pack rat stores the objects it collects to decorate its nest. The rodent may reach a length of 18 in. (45.7 cm) including tail, has soft brown fur, and resembles a squirrel with large ears. It eats nuts, berries, seeds, twigs, and roots. Its nest is a large stick structure built in a sheltered area. The desert species adorns its nest with bits of cactus, turning it into an impenetrable fortress as you can partly see in one of my photos.

Today, pack rats are still a common desert dweller and, so long as people keep the doors to their homes closed, aren't much of a problem as far as theft is concerned. However, in recent years these little criminals have branched out into trespassing and vandalism and have even nested in automobiles and have eaten engine wiring as part of their meal.

No comments:

Post a Comment