Prickly Pear Marvel Munchers....

in #animals3 years ago

ground squirrel and prickly pear.jpg
Photo Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/368028600769157939/
This is a desert squirrel pictured.

Today as I was driving down a road strewn with cacti I noticed the red juicy prickly pears ripe for the picking!!!

To my surprise I noticed the that there was a ground squirrel that was perched atop one of the cacti and was munching away on a prickly pear. I had no idea that they ate these fruits!

How on Earth do they not get jowled by the spines?

They are pretty amazing... so I did some research....this is what I found....

Rodents actually do eat prickly pears! And it's not just the ground squirrel. Certain kinds of rats, mice and gophers do too!!! Not only do they eat the fruit and disperse the seed but they also eat the pads of the cacti as well. For some rats and mice they derive much of their water from the stores in the plant tissue.

The Woodrat is a common prickly pear eater...

woodrat.jpg

The Pocket mouse, Cactus mouse and Nelson's kangaroo rat (actually a mouse) eat prickly pears!

Pacific_pocket_mouse_4.jpg
Pocket Mouse

The Northern Pocket Gopher gets water from feeding on the prickly pear cactus....

Pocket_gopher.jpg

Ground squirrels as I saw today eat the seeds and fruits....

1280px-California_ground_squirrel_at_Point_Lobos.jpg

References:
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rodents-eat-prickly-pear-cactus-60302.html

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so prickly

cactus all the way , great work.

Nice article. Cactus is a good source of water.

Thanks! Yes it really is. I was so astonished as I drove slowly by when I saw the squirrel! LOL! :) I learn something every day.

nice article great pics

yes you never get old learning amazing things this world throws at us.

Yes I agree. I do prefer the teachings of nature rather than the manmade kind! LOL!

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