Bailey's Pocket Mouse
Body length: 3 - 4"
Diet: Seeds and green plants
During a study at Tonto National Monument, Bailey's pocket mouse was captured more often than any other nocturnal rodent. It occurs in every vegetation community throughout the Monument, and is far more abundant than other rodents in all areas except for heavily wooded riparian areas, where cactus mice predominate.
Pocket mice are related to kangaroo rats, and are also well-adapted to dry, desert conditions. They do not need to drink water. Through behavior (night activity and burrowing) and physiology (concentration of urine), pocket mice sustain themselves solely on the moisture they metabolize from their diet of seeds. Like kangaroo rats, they can carry food back to their dens in their fur-lined cheek pouches, where they cache it for future use.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Biologists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.