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Seasonal Change in the Activity Pattern of Dipodomys spectabilis

Robert B. Lockard
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1380233 563-568 First published online: 21 August 1978


The daily pattern of surface activity of banner-tailed kangaroo rats was measured by recording visits to automated feeders, which provided small quantities of millet. From November through March the activity pattern was nocturnal, with an early-evening peak and less activity during moon-up than moon-down. However, as a record drought developed and nights shortened in the spring, moonlight-avoidance ceased and nocturnal activity increased, with small amounts of daylight activity in May. Daylight activity increased during summer, becoming equal to night activity, then began to return to the usual nocturnal pattern at the same time as new vegetation appeared in response to summer rain.

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