Facts about gophers

Gophers are very funny and cute rodents. We very often hear funny and affectionate nicknames, which are somehow connected with this animal. But what is known about these animals?

  • The weight of ground gophers does not exceed two kilograms.
  • The body length of mammals does not exceed twenty centimeters.
  • Males are twice as many female representatives.
  • Gophers have a gray-brown color. A similar color of wool serves as a perfect disguise.
  • The sight of gophers, like many animals that spend a lot of time under the ground, is bad. (Therefore, very often they can be seen on various elevations in the immediate vicinity of their holes.)
  • The jaws of gophers have protruding incisors (canines, like all rodents, they do not). Such modifications of teeth allow them to create underground passages without swallowing the ground.
  • Gophers, like humans, have tear glands (only they are slightly enlarged), which allow mammals to get rid of the dust and dirt that gets into the eyes. For the same reasons, gophers have a barely noticeable ear concha.
  • The tail of the gophers has special sensitive endings that allow rodents to navigate very quickly and accurately in numerous underground passages.
  • Gopher is very well developed care for the offspring. This is due to the fact that the newborn animals are deaf, blind and they lack hair (it appears on them only one week after the birth, and two weeks later they gain sight).
  • Young cubs live in a separate burrow excavated by the mother (since they are completely unarmed in the fight against natural enemies – in the first weeks of their life they lack the antidote to the poisons of various snakes).
  • Sometimes snakes penetrate into burrows with cubs of rodents, then their mother shows unprecedented courage in fighting with such a dangerous enemy: she becomes on her lower paws and starts waving her fluffy tail, visually increasing in size. Mother does not back down from protection until the bites of poisonous snakes.
  • The surprising fact is the possibility of ground gophers to sound notification of their relatives. And mammals make different sounds (most often this is a shrill squeak or deafening whistle), it all depends on who is currently their natural enemy: a man, a bird of prey, a snake or other no less dangerous animals.