Fresno kangaroo rats are a subspecies.
You can actually tell this from their scientific
name. A species is designated by two words in
its scientific name, the genus is the first
word, and the species is the second word. In
Fresno Kangaroo Rats, Dipodomys is the genus, and
nitratoides is the species name. The genus
represents a larger group, similar to a last name,
while the species name is specific to the species.
In subspecies, the animals are members of the same
species and so have the same genus and species
name (Dipodomys nitratoides).
However, they are different enough to be
considered subspecies, and so a third name is
tacked onto the genus and species, exilis
in this case. There are two other subspecies of
Dipodomys nitratoides, the Tipton kangaroo rat,
Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides, and the
short-nosed kangaroo rat, Dipodomys nitratoides
brevinasus. All the subspecies are very similar
to each other, but have differences in
size. I hope this helps.
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