10 Things You Didn’t Know About Gophers

1. Gophers actually prefer to be alone.

Except for when they are mating. What? Our school has a mascot that prefers to be alone except for when they are doing the horizontal mambo? What a great way to encompass our great school spirit and pride.

2. Gophers are just as fast running backward as they are forward.

This is in order for them to be able to escape from predators within their tunnels.

3. Gophers have continuously growing teeth.

Because gophers use their teeth to dig tunnels their teeth are worn down. To combat this, gophers have non-stop growing teeth, which grow up to 14 inches a year. Keep in mind that gophers themselves are typically only 5-10 inches in length.

4. Gophers are the most widespread North American species.

Using my deductive reasoning, one can assume North America is automatically Gopher Territory.

5. Gophers have a gestational period of 18-19 days.

This means a mama goph can become pregnant 20 times in one year. So because gophers have 3-4 babies at a time, this means a mama and papa goph could have 80 baby gophs a year (if they were to mate constantly). They could—but they don’t. Most gophers actually only mate twice a year.

6. Gophers have extremely loose skin.

The purpose of this is so that they can do somersaults within the tunnels that they dig. Somersaults.

7. Gophers’ cheek pouches (cheek pouches…?) are lined with fur.

Gophers have large fur-lined cheek pouches (yes, fur!) that they use to hold food and bedding for their homes. These pouches extend from their mouth all the way back onto their shoulders/ Even more interesting, a gopher’s cheek pouches can be turned inside out.

8.  Gophers empty said cheek pouches by using their feet.

They bring their forefeet up to to their cheeks and shove out any food or other material kept within them. I’m just trying to imagine this, and I don’t know that I can.

9. Gophers are rarely seen above ground.

As previously mentioned, gophers like to live alone (except to mate) so you will rarely find them outside of their tunnel.

10.  There are over 100 different types of gophers.

Well, 101 if you count Golden Gophers.


By Lauren Myhra



Scott MeyerComment