Northern pocket gopher

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northern pocket gopher Tomomys talpiodes

Order Rodentia Rodents

  • Animals with 2 upper & 2 lower incisors and no canines
  • Of all mammals, has the most number of worldwide species

Subfamily Geomyidae Pocket Gophers

  • Fur-lined pouches on either side of mouth
  • Tail always shorter than combined head & body length

Description: burrowing rodents with fur-lined external cheek pouches, tails always shorter than combined head and body length. Difficult to identify to the 5 Norhwest species based on external features alone.

ID traits: 

  • Stout bodied
  • Small eyes & ears
  • Large-clawed front paws
  • Sparsely haired short tail used as a sensory organ.
  • Large front teeth used to loosen soil & rocks and to cut and eat plants.
  • Short fur, various colors
  • Play important role in aerating soil, increasing water-holding capacity of soil, fertilizing, and creating fresh soil for new seedbeds.
  • Provide burrows for reptiles & amphibians.
  • Are prey for mammals, birds, & snakes

Thomomys talpoides Northern pocket gopher