In different geological epochs in Australia there were different groups of carnivorous marsupial mammals. Among them were actually carnivorous marsupials (Dasyuridae), as well as representatives possums - marsupial lions (Thylacoleo). Apart from these, a predatory lifestyle adapted kangaroo rats, among which there was a very large predator Ecalcadetta. There are also other types of fossil carnivores "real" kangaroo. These facts testify to the high ecological plasticity of marsupials, and suggests the likelihood of recurrence of low-specialized predator among the animals of this group.
In Neocene among kangaroo rats appeared several types that deviate from the majority of species on food preferences: among them were the species to a greater or lesser extent, to eat food of animal origin. Among them, a tendency to predation especially clearly manifested in one of the smaller species of kangaroo rats. Not being a strong animal, this kangaroo rat eats carrion, and therefore got its name - Scavenger kangaroo rat .
This is a relatively small species of marsupials - body length of 20 cm, the tail of the same length. By constitution, they are similar to other small kangaroo, with the exception of the dental system. They have sharp incisors and more small pointed molars: animals fed meat. Muzzle Scavenger kangaroo rat is shorter than its herbivorous relatives.
Animals of this species are colored motley and bright: wool, straw-yellow with black small spots on his back. At the head of these animals black "cap": head, nose and cheeks black and white spots over the eyes like a dog. The lower jaw, throat and upper chest hairless, covered with grayish skin - a device similar to a bare head and neck neck - hygienic device. At the tail has a black longitudinal stripe, and the tail itself ends with a black brush. Paws lighter than the body: they are almost white.
Scavenger Kangaroo rat has an original way of life, differing from other kangaroos she kept in groups of 4 - 5 animals, and almost constantly followed by large predators, keeping a certain caution. Usually these animals are selected as the "suzerain" giant reptilian local drakovarana. Catch Scavenger Kangaroo rat of such an alliance is clear: the animals are protected from smaller predators, at the same time getting the remnants of mining giant. They are quite careful and nimble to be saved from this reptile, so feel safe being close to one of Australia's most fearsome predators. When the host animal hunts, they are hiding in the grass, watching the progress of the hunt. If successful, these marsupial predator chosen closer to the production, co-driving away from her other animals scavenging. But when the predator eats, they gnaw the bones with the remains of meat production, chew cartilage and even lick the blood from the grass.
In the group of animals is only one male: he is aggressive, and expels competitors. Outsiders who does not tolerate, so if the clan is trying to cling outsider male, between him and the owner of the clan breaks a fierce skirmish. Sometimes it happens that the newly-born male expels the lawful owner of the clan, and takes his place. Competition between females does not occur, and a new female is taken without fighting clan. The only exception - the lean years: at this time of increased aggressiveness not only males but also females.
Due to the bag, these animals do not require permanent shelters for rearing and constantly wander after the predator, recognizing it by smell.
In addition to its production residues "suzerain" scavenger kangaroo rat eat small vertebrates and large insects.