When on foraging trips, kangaroo rats hoard the seeds that they find. It is important for a kangaroo rat to encounter more food items than are consumed, at least at one point in the year, as well as defend or rediscover food caches and remain within the same areas long enough to utilize food resources. Different species of kangaroo rat may have different seed caching strategies to coexist with each other, as is the case for the banner-tailed kangaroo rat and Merriam's kangaroo rat which have overlapping ranges. Merriam's kangaroo rats scatterhoard small caches of seeds in numerous small, shallow holes they dig. This is initially done close to the food source, maximizing harvest rates and reducing travel costs, but later redistributed more widely, minimizing theft by other rodents. Banner-tailed kangaroo rats larderhoard a sizable cache of seeds within the large mounds they occupy. This could decrease their time and energy expenses; they also spend less time on the surface digging holes, reducing risk of predation. Being larger and more sedentary, they are better able to defend these larders from depredations by other rodents.
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