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Cratogeomys Geomys Orthogeomys Pappogeomys Thomomys Zygogeomys

Pocket gophers, commonly referred to as gophers, are burrowing rodents of the family Geomyidae.[2] There are about 35 species, all endemic to North and Central America.[3] They are commonly known for their extensive tunneling activities. The name "pocket gopher" on its own may be used to refer to any of a number of genera within the family. These are the "true" gophers, but several ground squirrels in the distantly related family Sciuridae
Sciuridae
are often called gophers, as well. The origin of the word "gopher" is uncertain. French gaufre, meaning waffle, has been suggested, on account of the gopher's tunnels resembling the honeycomb-like pattern of holes in a waffle.[4] Another suggestion is that the word is of Muskogean origin.[5]

A typical pocket gopher.

Contents

1 Description

1.1 Behavior

2 Control 3 Classification 4 In popular culture 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Description[edit] Gophers weigh around 0.5 lb (230 g), and are about 6–8 in (150–200 mm) in body length, with a tail 1–2 in (25–51 mm) long. A few species reach weights approaching 1 kg (2.2 lb). Within any species, the males are larger than the females and can be nearly double their weight.[6] Average lifespans are one to three years.[7] The maximum lifespan for the pocket gopher is about five years.[8] Some gophers, such as those in the genus Geomys, have lifespans that have been documented as up to seven years in the wild.[7] Most gophers have brown fur that often closely matches the color of the soil in which they live. Their most characteristic features are their large cheek pouches, from which the word "pocket" in their name derives. These pouches are fur-lined, can be turned inside out, and extend from the side of the mouth well back onto the shoulders. Gophers have small eyes and a short, hairy tail, which they use to feel around tunnels when they walk backwards. Pocket gophers have been found to often carry external parasites.[7] Common predators of the gopher include weasels, snakes, and hawks.[9] Behavior[edit] All pocket gophers create a network of tunnel systems that provide protection and a means of collecting food. They are larder hoarders, and their cheek pouches are used for transporting food back to their burrows. Gophers can collect large hoards. Unlike ground squirrels, gophers do not live in large communities and seldom find themselves above ground. Tunnel entrances can be identified by small piles of loose soil covering the opening.[10] Their burrows can be found in many areas where the soil is softer and easily tunneled. They often appear in vegetable gardens, lawns, or farms, as gophers like moist soil (see Soil
Soil
biomantle). This has led to their frequent treatment as pests. Gophers eat plant roots, shrubs, and other vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, radishes, and any other vegetables with juice.[11] Some species are considered agricultural pests. The resulting destruction of plant life then leaves the area a stretch of denuded soil. At the same time, the soil disturbance created by turning it over can lead to the early establishment of Ecological succession
Ecological succession
in Communities of r-selected and other Ruderal plant species. The stashing and subsequent decomposition of plant material in the gophers' larder can produce deep fertilization of the soil. Pocket gophers are solitary outside of the breeding season, aggressively maintaining territories that vary in size depending on the resources available. Males and females may share some burrows and nesting chambers if their territories border each other, but in general, each pocket gopher inhabits its own individual tunnel system. Although they attempt to flee when threatened, they may attack other animals, including cats and humans, and can inflict serious bites with their long, sharp teeth. Depending on the species and local conditions, pocket gophers may have a specific annual breeding season, or may breed repeatedly through the year. Each litter typically consists of two to five young, although this may be much higher in some species. The young are born blind and helpless, and are weaned around 40 days old.[12] Control[edit] Geomys
Geomys
and Thomomys
Thomomys
species are classed as "prohibited new organisms" under New Zealand's Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, preventing them from being imported into the country.[13] Classification[edit] Much debate exists among taxonomists about which races of pocket gophers should be recognized as full species, and the following list cannot be regarded as definitive.

Family Geomyidae

Genus
Genus
Cratogeomys; some authors treat this genus as a subgenus of Pappogeomys.

Yellow-faced pocket gopher
Yellow-faced pocket gopher
( Cratogeomys castanops) Oriental Basin pocket gopher
Oriental Basin pocket gopher
(C. fulvescens) Smoky pocket gopher
Smoky pocket gopher
(C. fumosus) Goldman's pocket gopher
Goldman's pocket gopher
(C. goldmani) Merriam's pocket gopher
Merriam's pocket gopher
(C. merriami)

Genus
Genus
Geomys
Geomys
- eastern pocket gophers; principally found in the southwestern United States, east of the Sierra Nevada mountains

Desert pocket gopher
Desert pocket gopher
Geomys
Geomys
arenarius Attwater's pocket gopher
Attwater's pocket gopher
(G. attwateri) Baird's pocket gopher
Baird's pocket gopher
(G. breviceps) Plains pocket gopher
Plains pocket gopher
(G. bursarius) Knox Jones's pocket gopher
Knox Jones's pocket gopher
(G. knoxjonesi) Texas pocket gopher
Texas pocket gopher
( Geomys
Geomys
personatus) Southeastern pocket gopher
Southeastern pocket gopher
( Geomys
Geomys
pinetis) Central Texas pocket gopher
Texas pocket gopher
( Geomys
Geomys
texensis) Tropical pocket gopher
Tropical pocket gopher
( Geomys
Geomys
tropicalis)

Genus
Genus
Orthogeomys - giant pocket gophers or taltuzas; found in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia

Chiriqui pocket gopher
Chiriqui pocket gopher
( Orthogeomys cavator) Cherrie's pocket gopher
Cherrie's pocket gopher
(O. cherriei) Oaxacan pocket gopher
Oaxacan pocket gopher
(O. cuniculus) Darien pocket gopher
Darien pocket gopher
(O. dariensis) Giant pocket gopher
Giant pocket gopher
(O. grandis) Variable pocket gopher
Variable pocket gopher
(O. heterodus) Hispid pocket gopher
Hispid pocket gopher
(O. hispidus) Big pocket gopher
Big pocket gopher
(O. lanius) Nicaraguan pocket gopher
Nicaraguan pocket gopher
(O. matagalpae) Thaeler's pocket gopher
Thaeler's pocket gopher
(O. thaeleri) Underwood's pocket gopher
Underwood's pocket gopher
(O. underwoodi)

Genus
Genus
Pappogeomys; found in Mexico

Alcorn's pocket gopher
Alcorn's pocket gopher
(P. alcorni) Buller's pocket gopher
Buller's pocket gopher
(P. bulleri)

Genus
Genus
Thomomys
Thomomys
- western pocket gophers; widely distributed in North America, extending into the northwestern US, Canada, and the southeastern US.

Botta's pocket gopher
Botta's pocket gopher
(T. bottae) Camas pocket gopher
Camas pocket gopher
(T. bulbivorus) Wyoming pocket gopher
Wyoming pocket gopher
(T. clusius) Idaho pocket gopher
Idaho pocket gopher
(T. idahoensis) Mazama pocket gopher
Mazama pocket gopher
(T. mazama) Mountain pocket gopher
Mountain pocket gopher
(T. monticola) Northern pocket gopher
Northern pocket gopher
(T. talpoides) Townsend's pocket gopher
Townsend's pocket gopher
(T. townsendii) Southern pocket gopher
Southern pocket gopher
(T. umbrinus)

Genus
Genus
Zygogeomys

Michoacan pocket gopher
Michoacan pocket gopher
or tuza ( Zygogeomys
Zygogeomys
trichopus)

Some sources also list a genus Hypogeomys, with one species, but this genus name is normally used for the Malagasy giant rat, which belongs to the family Nesomyidae. In popular culture[edit]

Minnesota
Minnesota
is nicknamed the " Gopher
Gopher
State", and the University of Minnesota's athletics teams are collectively known as the Golden Gophers, led by mascot Goldy Gopher. Internet Gopher
Gopher
protocol was created at the University of Minnesota. Gainer the Gopher
Gainer the Gopher
is the mascot of the Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders
in the Canadian Football League.[14] A gopher also plays a key role in the film Caddyshack.[15] The mascot of the Go programming language is the Go Gopher.[16] Gordon the Gopher is an English puppet gopher which appeared on Children's BBC
BBC
(CBBC) between 1985 and 1987.[17][18] Gophers! was a British children's programme that ran on Channel 4 between 1988 and 1990. Gopher
Gopher
is a character in the Disney cartoon adaptations of the children's book Winnie-the-Pooh.

See also[edit]

Mammals portal

Naked mole rat

References[edit]

^ Eduardo Jiménez-Hidalgo; Rosalía Guerrero-Arenas; Krister T. Smith (2017). "Gregorymys veloxikua, The Oldest Pocket Gopher
Gopher
(Rodentia: Geomyidae), and The Early Diversification of Geomyoidea". Journal of Mammalian Evolution. in press. doi:10.1007/s10914-017-9383-z.  ^ "ODFW, Oregon Wildlife Species: Gophers". Dfw.state.or.us. 2014-08-25. Retrieved 2017-05-27.  ^ "Outwit Critters:". Retrieved 16 January 2014. There are 35 species of gophers living in both North and Central America.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-04-03.  ^ "American Heritage Dictionary Entry: gopher". Ahdictionary.com. Retrieved 2017-05-27.  ^ Macdonald, David W., ed. (2006). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-920608-2.  ^ a b c Hygnstrom, Scott E. (2010). Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage. DIANE Publishing Inc. p. B–21. ISBN 1-4379-3688-1.  ^ Whisson, Delsey. Small Grain Production Pt 8: Pest Management -- Vertebrates. UCANR Publications. p. 5. ISBN 1-60107-411-5.  ^ "Pocket Gophers". National Wildlife Federation. Retrieved 19 January 2014.  ^ "Gopher". A-Z Animals. Retrieved 19 January 2014.  ^ "Pocket Gopher
Gopher
FAQs:". Retrieved 2 February 2018.  ^ Patton, James (1984). Macdonald, D., ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 628–631. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.  ^ Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 2003 - Schedule 2 Prohibited new organisms, New Zealand Government, retrieved 26 January 2012  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-09. Retrieved 2010-09-17.  ^ Martin, Scott (25 March 2007). "The Book of Caddyshack: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Movie Ever Made". Taylor Trade Publishing – via Google Books.  ^ "The Go Gopher
Gopher
- The Go Blog".  ^ "Archive - The C BBC
BBC
Broom Cupboard - 25 Years of live Children's BBC presentation". BBC. Retrieved 2017-05-27.  ^ TV, Guardian (6 August 2015). "Gordon's alive! Phillip Schofield's puppet sidekick is back". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geomyidae (Pocket gophers).

Article on the Animal
Animal
Diversity Web site  "Gopher". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 

v t e

Extant species of family Geomyidae (Pocket gophers)

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Suborder: Castorimorpha Superfamily: Geomyoidea

Cratogeomys

Yellow-faced pocket gopher
Yellow-faced pocket gopher
(C. castanops) Oriental Basin pocket gopher
Oriental Basin pocket gopher
(C. fulvescens) Smoky pocket gopher
Smoky pocket gopher
(C. fumosus) Merriam's pocket gopher
Merriam's pocket gopher
(C. merriami) Perote pocket gopher
Perote pocket gopher
(C. perotensis) Flat-headed pocket gopher (C. planiceps)

Geomys (Eastern pocket gophers)

Desert pocket gopher
Desert pocket gopher
(G. arenarius) Attwater's pocket gopher
Attwater's pocket gopher
(G. attwateri) Baird's pocket gopher
Baird's pocket gopher
(G. breviceps) Plains pocket gopher
Plains pocket gopher
(G. bursarius) Knox Jones's pocket gopher
Knox Jones's pocket gopher
(G. knoxjonesi) Texas pocket gopher
Texas pocket gopher
(G. personatus) Southeastern pocket gopher
Southeastern pocket gopher
(G. pinetis) Central Texas pocket gopher
Texas pocket gopher
(G. texensis) Tropical pocket gopher
Tropical pocket gopher
(G. tropicalis)

Orthogeomys

Chiriqui pocket gopher
Chiriqui pocket gopher
(O. cavator)

Cherrie's pocket gopher
Cherrie's pocket gopher
(O. cherriei) Oaxacan pocket gopher
Oaxacan pocket gopher
(O. cuniculus) Darien pocket gopher
Darien pocket gopher
(O. dariensis) Giant pocket gopher
Giant pocket gopher
(O. grandis) Variable pocket gopher
Variable pocket gopher
(O. heterodus) Hispid pocket gopher
Hispid pocket gopher
(O. hispidus) Big pocket gopher
Big pocket gopher
(O. lanius) Nicaraguan pocket gopher
Nicaraguan pocket gopher
(O. matagalpae) Thaeler's pocket gopher
Thaeler's pocket gopher
(O. thaeleri) Underwood's pocket gopher
Underwood's pocket gopher
(O. underwoodi)

Pappogeomys

Alcorn's pocket gopher
Alcorn's pocket gopher
(P. alcorni) Buller's pocket gopher
Buller's pocket gopher
(P. bulleri)

Thomomys (Smooth-toothed pocket gophers)

Subgenus Megascapheus

Botta's pocket gopher
Botta's pocket gopher
(T. bottae) Camas pocket gopher
Camas pocket gopher
(T. bulbivorus) Townsend's pocket gopher
Townsend's pocket gopher
(T. townsendii) Southern pocket gopher
Southern pocket gopher
(T. umbrinus)

Subgenus Thomomys

Wyoming pocket gopher
Wyoming pocket gopher
(T. clusius) Idaho pocket gopher
Idaho pocket gopher
(T. idahoensis) Mazama pocket gopher
Mazama pocket gopher
(T. mazama) Mountain pocket gopher
Mountain pocket gopher
(T. monticola) Northern pocket gopher
Northern pocket gopher
(T. talpoides)

Zygogeomys

Michoacan pocket gopher
Michoacan pocket gopher
(Z. trichopus)

Category

v t e

Extant families in order Rodentia

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Eutheria Superorder: Euarchontoglires

Sciuromorpha ("Squirrel-like")

Aplodontiidae (Mountain beaver) Gliridae (Dormice) Sciuridae
Sciuridae
(Squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, susliks and prairie dogs)

Castorimorpha ("Beaver-like")

Castoroidea Castoridae
Castoridae
(Beavers)

Geomyoidea Geomyidae (Pocket gophers) Heteromyidae
Heteromyidae
(Kangaroo rats and mice, pocket mice)

Myomorpha ("Mouse-like")

Dipodoidea Dipodidae
Dipodidae
(Jerboas, jumping mice and birch mice)

Muroidea Platacanthomyidae
Platacanthomyidae
(Oriental dormice) Spalacidae
Spalacidae
(Zokors, bamboo rats, mole rats, blind mole rats) Calomyscidae (Mouse-like hamsters) Nesomyidae
Nesomyidae
(Malagasy rats and relatives) Cricetidae
Cricetidae
(Hamsters and relatives) Muridae
Muridae
(House mouse and relatives)

Anomaluromorpha ("Anomalure-like")

Anomaluridae (Anomalures) Pedetidae
Pedetidae
(Springhares)

Hystricomorpha ("Porcupine-like")

Ctenodactylidae (Gundis) Diatomyidae
Diatomyidae
(Laotian rock rat) Hystricidae (Old World porcupines)

Phiomorpha Bathyergidae (Blesmols) Petromuridae (Dassie rat) Thryonomyidae (Cane rats)

Caviomorpha
Caviomorpha
(New World hystricognaths) Erethizontidae (New World porcupines) Caviidae
Caviidae
(Cavies) Cuniculidae (Pacas) Dasyproctidae
Dasyproctidae
(Agoutis and acouchis) Dinomyidae
Dinomyidae
(Pacarana) Capromyidae (Hutias) Ctenomyidae (Tuco-tucos) Echimyidae
Echimyidae
(Spiny rats and coypus) Octodontidae
Octodontidae
(Degus and relatives) Abrocomidae (Chinchilla rats) Chinchillidae
Chinchillidae
(Chinchillas and viscachas)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q756901 ADW: Geomyidae EoL: 8692 EPPO: 1GEMYF Fossilworks: 41651 GBIF: 9437 ITIS: 180213 MSW: 12

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