How a desert kangaroo rat manufactures it's own drinking water?

A picture of a kangaroo rat.

Desert kangaroo rat

As the cactus is outstanding among desert plants, so too there is an amazing champion among the animal wonders of the desert.

He is the kangaroo rat of the dry burning wastes of the Southwestern American desert.

Neither kangaroo nor rat, but mouse like, he is in a class by himself when it comes to solving the water problem.


Because he doesn’t need any!

Not even a little?

No, none whatsoever.

All during his lifetime the kangaroo rat never touches a drop of water.

Nor does he live on succulent plants or insects, but can exist on the driest of seeds.

While other plants and animals must economize in water consumption, store it, lie dormant or employ combinations of these methods, this astonishing rodent has a solution radically different from them all.

He manufactures his own!

The starchy food he eats contains hydrogen.

Oxygen is available in quantity in the air he breathes.

By combining hydrogen and oxygen in laboratories, water can be produced.

However, the kangaroo rat has his own built-in laboratory and performs this feat every day without giving it much thought.

Don’t insult this mouse by offering him a drink he would turn you down anyway!

Give him a seed or two; his metabolism will do the rest!