What does the black-footed tree rat eat?

What does the black-footed tree rat eat?

So What does the black-footed tree rat eat? The black-footed tree rat is an elusive rodent and one of the largest in Australia. It is often described as the Australian equivalent of a squirrel due to its preferred habitats of tropical woodlands and forests. It is found in parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territories. In Western Australia, it is considered quite rare. But in the Northern Territories, it is relatively common, albeit distributed sporadically. Like many rodents, the black-footed tree rat is nocturnal, preferring to spend daylight hours sheltering in tree hollows or in roofs of buildings.

What does the black-footed tree rat eat?

Their dietary preferences remain something of a mystery, however. We know that they are capable of covering more than 2 kilometres in a single night when foraging for food, but we don’t know much about the specifics of their diet. What we do know is based on the analyses of stomach contents rather than direct observation. These analyses suggest that hard and fleshy fruits and seeds comprise the core of their diet, supplemented with grass and invertebrates.

Black-footed tree rats have been observed gnawing on pandanus fruits during the July dry season. There are also accounts of individuals climbing small grevillea trees when they’re in bloom and eating the nectar-rich flowers. These plants, which seem to be important to the black-footed tree rat’s diet, are distributed patchily throughout the regions where they grow. However, they tend to have long fruiting periods and seem to offer a stable food source for the rat. The patchy distribution of these plants might also explain the similarly patchy distribution of the black-footed tree rat itself.

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