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Gopher

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Gopher Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Cnidaria
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Rodentia
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Sciuridae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Spermophilus
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Spermophilus Richardsonii
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
12-30cm (4.7-12in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
220-1,000g (7.8-35.2oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
25km/h (16mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
3-5 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Social
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Tan
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Fur
Favourite Food:Roots
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Woodland and grass prairies
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
6
Main Prey:Roots, Fruit, Leaves
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Owls, Snakes, Coyotes
Special Features:Puffy face and long front teeth

Gopher Location

Map of Gopher Locations
Map of North America

Gopher

There are two main species of gopher, the pocket gopher and the Richardsons ground squirrel, both of these species of gopher are found in North America. The gopher is a small squirrel-like rodent which lives in burrows underground.

The gopher digs large networks of tunnels and subterranean chambers which are referred to as gopher towns. These gopher towns contain an extensive network of tunnels that often result in the disruption of agriculture and landscapes.

The gopher towns can stretch for vast distances through mountainous terrain and often contain thousands of gopher residents. The adult gophers tend to situate themselves at the front of the gopher town and whistle to the others when the adult gophers spot potential predators or sense nearing danger.

Gophers are small animals, usually around 15cm in length and a quarter of a kilogram in weight this however is slightly dependent on the species of gopher.

The gopher is a true hoarding mammal as the gopher stores the food that the gopher finds in its cheek pouches before taking the food back to the gopher burrow, where the gophers are known to collect astonishing amounts of food.

The presence of a gopher can be determined by the mound of dirt that can be seen on the surface of the ground. In a similar way to the mole, the tunneling of the gopher creates a large amount of dirt being pushed out behind it, and this therefore creates the gopher mound.

Some species of gopher, such as the Richardsons ground squirrel, are known to hibernate during the cold northern winters. Baby gophers will usually hibernate at the beginning of Autumn in their first year of life, but the adult gophers often begin their hibernation in the middle of the summer, around July time! The gophers hibernate until the spring, when the male gophers emerge from hibernation first in order to establish their territories before the female gophers wake up.

Gophers are omnivorous animals with the diet of the gopher being predominantly comprised of nuts, seeds and berries along with grass, grains and insects which is where the gopher gets the majority of its protein from. The gopher however, has a number of natural predators mainly because of the size and abundance of the gopher in certain areas. The natural predators of the gopher include large birds, badgers and coyotes and of course, the human, who is known to kill the gopher as an agricultural pest.

Gopher Comments

Shyah
"This is cute "
sop
"this is great "
Peter sherman
"Chordata is the phylum... Typo on cnidaria (jellyfish etc.). Also, latin binom sp name with lower case r. I am no expert so cant say remainder of article is correct... But looks accurate at quick glance. Hope this helps."
Kassey
"I think this article is good when you are reseaching and gives you a ton of information! i only found websites that said how to get rid of them before this.:)"
Michelle
"I love this article. It helped convince my friends Grant, Ryan and Leon that gophers are real! :)"
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First Published: 26th January 2009, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jan 2009]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jan 2009]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 26 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 26 Jan 2009]

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