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Pocket Gophers



Pocket gophers are 5 inches to a foot long (head and body combined, excluding tail), with the tail being very short. They are gray to dark brown. They have fur-lined pouches that open on the outside of its cheeks and are used for carrying food and nesting material. The gopher has extremely long upper and lower teeth, which are always exposed Gophers are extremely well adapted and built for an underground existence. They are powerfully built in the forequarters and have a short neck. The head is small and flattened, ears, eyes and lips are small.



Gophers dig burrows in lawns and gardens, pushing the soil from the burrows into mounds on the surface. These mounds are characteristic in that they are built in the shape of a horseshoe around the opening. Their burrows may be several hundred feet in length ranging in depth form a few inches to several feet. They are most active during spring and fall when the soil is of the ideal moisture content of digging. Cut roots are usually stored in small chambers within the burrow.



Pocket gophers have one litter per year, consisting of 3-4 young. In the late summer and early fall, young gophers disperse from the family unit to establish their own burrows and territories. They live and do most of their foraging underground, feeding chiefly on roots and tubers. Gophers are solitary and each one will occupy each tunnel system.



Thomomys spp.