Desert rats include wood or pack rats and kangaroo rats. Wood rats eat cactus, yucca pods, grass seeds, bark, berries, pinon nuts and green vegetation. Kangaroo rats eat grass seeds and mesquite beans and will sometimes eat insects or green vegetation.
Kangaroo rats are better adapted to dry conditions than wood rats and can live without drinking water at all. Wood rats depend on succulent plants for water and can go between cactus spines to feed on the plants. Both types of rats are important to the desert food chain. They are eaten by owls, snakes, coyotes, foxes, bobcats and ring-tailed cats.