The Yellow-nosed Cotton Rat sure won’t win a contest for the most interesting name, but it is descriptive. A resident of the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson, from oak to pine vegetation, it is active all year round.
Unlike most mammals, this rodent does not have a difference in coloring between male and females. There are actually quite small, and can be confused with a vole. Like many desert creatures, they obtain moisture from the plants they eat. This being the case, they depend mostly on grass and succulents for food, occasionally munching on cactus fruits.
The Yellow-nosed Cotton Rat can reproduce at any time of year. Unlike other rats, their young are not born helpless and blind, and get around quite well right after birth. There are about 2 to 6 pups born at a time.
Reference: The Nature of Madera Canyon by Douglas W. Moore, Friends of Madera, 1999; azgfd.gov