Ord’s Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo rats are very common nocturnal rodents that live throughout Utah’s deserts. They have the unique adaptation of not needing to drink water, since they get most of the moisture they need from the seeds they eat. They make water metabolically through the process of digestion. They also have special kidneys, with a great number of microscopic tubules, which extract most of the water from their urine and return it to their blood. Specialized tissue in their nasal passages also recaptures much of the moisture they would normally lose when they exhale air. They also seal off their burrows to block out the midday heat and retain the small amount of moisture that they do exhale through their breathing.