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Eastern pocket gopher (Geomys).—Woodrow GoodpasterThe National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers
Any of about 40 species (family Geomyidae) of stocky rodents found in North and Central America. Gophers range in length from 5 to 18 in. (13 to 45 cm), including a short, sparsely haired tail. They have chisel-like front teeth; long, strong claws on their forefeet; and large fur-lined pouches that open externally on each side of the mouth. Coat colour varies from almost white to brown or black. Gophers live alone in extensive, shallow underground burrows marked by a series of rounded earth mounds on the surface. They feed on the underground parts of plants, which they obtain as they tunnel along.
Variants of GOPHER
gopher or pocket gopher
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on gopher, visit Britannica.com.